Boxers Control First Half to Defeat Bearcats, 4-2

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Pacific University netted four goals in the first half, including two by Sean Mills, and the Boxers held off a late Willamette University rally, to defeat the Bearcats, 4-2, in a Northwest Conference game on Sunday, Sept. 27. Mills registered the game's first two goals, as he found the net at 8:48 and 21:36.

The win upped Pacific's record to 6-2-1 overall, 2-1-1 in the NWC. Willamette moved to 2-7 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.

Mills achieved his first goal by moving past a defender and shooting to the left side of the net for an unassisted score. His second goal came on a header from seven yards out and was assisted by forward Travis Birrell and goalkeeper Andrew Stevermer.

The Boxers extended the lead to 3-0 at 27:22 on a goal by Avery Neal following a corner kick by Kevin Fujimoto. Pacific added a goal by Brandon Porter with 20 seconds left in the half on another corner kick from Fujimoto.

At halftime, the Boxers held an 18-6 edge in shots, including a 9-4 margin in shots on goal. Stevermer recorded four saves during the half to keep Willamette scoreless.

In the second half, Willamette achieved a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal. Erik Kaufman (So., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS) scored twice in the final 6:02 of the game, but the Bearcats were unable to complete the rally.

Kaufman connected for his first goal from five yards out at 84:58, after receiving a short crossing pass from the left side of the field. Patrick Yagi (Fr., D, Sammamish, WA/Eastlake HS) and Andrew Monbouquette (Jr., F, Omaha, NE/Central HS) earned assists on the play. Kaufman took advantage of a break-away opportunity to score again at 86:36.

Kaufman is WU's leading scorer this season. He has recorded four goals and one assist for nine total points.

Pacific concluded the game with a 29-13 margin in overall shots. The shots on goal were significantly closer, with the Boxers holding an 11-8 edge. Corner kicks also were close, with Pacific earning four and Willamette taking three.

Stevermer recorded four saves for Pacific in the first half. Chris Grasso had two saves while playing 35:31 of the second half. Ethan Woodis finished the game in goal for the Boxers.

Eben Hellekson (Jr., GK, Honolulu, HI/University Laboratory School) was credited with five saves in the first half for Willamette. Bradley Eckerson (So., GK, Portland, OR/Cleveland HS) played the second half for the Bearcats and recorded two saves while shutting out Pacific.

Willamette will play at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Wash., on Saturday, Sept. 3. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. (PDT).

Pacific University 4
Willamette University 2
Erik Kaufman scored two goals against Pacific and now has four goals on the season.

Erik Kaufman scored two goals against Pacific and now has four goals on the season.