Men's Soccer Team to Hold First Practice on Thursday

Bearcats Open Season at Home on Sept. 1

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The Willamette University men's soccer team will host its first practice of the 2010 season on Thursday, August 19. Head Coach Nelson Larson will lead one of WU's largest soccer teams in recent years with 37 players on the roster.

The Bearcats went 6-13 in 2009, including 5-9 in the Northwest Conference. Five of WU's losses were by a single goal, including four 1-0 defeats early in the season. Willamette ended the year by achieving a 3-3 record in its final six games -- all against NWC opponents.

WU has three returning goalkeepers on the roster, including senior Eben Hellekson (Honolulu, HI/University Laboratory School). Hellekson played 700 minutes and earned a 4-5 record last season.

Other returning goalies are Bradley Eckerson (Jr., Portland, OR/Cleveland HS) and Alfredo Zuniga (Jr., Salem, OR/South Salem HS). Eckerson registered a goals against average of 0.95 and played 190 minutes, while Zuniga claimed a 1-1 record in 180 minutes played.

Willamette will open the regular season by hosting crosstown rival Corban University on Wednesday, Sept. 1. Game time at Sparks Field is scheduled for 7 p.m. (PDT).

Goalkeeper Eben Hellekson played in 10 games, including eight starts, for the Bearcats in 2009.

Goalkeeper Eben Hellekson played in 10 games, including eight starts, for the Bearcats in 2009.