Zuniga Enters Goal, Stops Penalty Kick, in 1-1 Tie with Corban

Dineen Scores for Bearcats, Brempong Hits Net for Warriors

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

SALEM, ORE. -- One moment, he was the back-up goalkeeper sitting on the Willamette University team bench. Just seconds later, Alfredo Zuniga (Jr., GK, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) was in goal making a key save on a penalty kick against crosstown rival Corban University on Wednesday, Sept. 1 at Sparks Field.

Zuniga’s save proved to be huge for the Bearcats, who battled the Warriors to a 1-1 tie in two overtimes.

Willamette earned the tie despite playing a man short for just over 89 minutes in the 110-minute game. It was the season opener for both teams.

Brendan Dineen (Jr., D, Portland, OR/Grant HS) gave Willamette a 1-0 lead when he scored on a 12-yard header only 8:56 into the match. Mike McGrew (So., MF, Portland, OR/Grant HS) assisted on the play with a looping pass over the first line of defenders to Dineen in the middle of the penalty area.

WU starting goalkeeper Eben Hellekson received a red card at 20:48. He was called for the foul as he raced to beat an attacker to the ball just inside the top of the penalty area. Hellekson was replaced by Zuniga, who saved the ensuing penalty kick taken by Gustavo Bermudez of Corban.

Willamette played shorthanded the remainder of the game. Corban scored the tying goal on a header by Thomas Brempong at 52:27 following a corner kick by Aaron Kinnes. Neither team scored during the remainder of the second half or during the overtime periods.

The Bearcats went down to nine players when Loftin Langsdorf (So., D/MF, Vancouver, WA/Columbia River HS) received a red card for a foul 51 seconds into the first overtime. The Warriors held a two-man advantage until 2:17 left in the second 10-minute overtime, when Nolan Dempster of Corban was ejected with two quick yellow cards for a foul and for arguing the call.

Despite the three ejections, the game wasn't filled with excessive aggression. Ellekson's red card was more for the location of the foul than for the severity of the foul. Langsdorf appeared to accidentally step on a player who fell at Willamette's defensive end among a group of players going for a header, and Dempster's ejection was the result of arguing an official's decision.

Corban finished the game with a 17-8 edge in total shots. Willamette held a 5-4 margin in shots on goal, but Corban hit the posts and crossbar a total of five times, including four times in the final 7:20 of regulation and once with 1:50 remaining in the second overtime.

Earlier in the game, Bob Paras (Fr., F, Yuba City, CA/Yuba City HS/Yuba College) of WU was the first player to hit the metal frame when his shot bounced off the crossbar at 61:40.

Despite his team's man-advantage, Corban goalie James Myrvold was forced to make four saves, all in the second half. Zuniga registered two saves, including a quality stop on a shot by Louis Nguea-Njoh with 6:50 left in the second overtime.

Willamette defenders cleared numerous crosses out of the penalty area in the final 25 minutes of regulation and the extra periods. The defense also cleared one shot off the goal line in the first half after an attempt by Bermudez passed Zuniga at the 27:43 mark.

Bermudez led Corban with five total shots, while Kinnes registered three shots. Dineen topped Willamette with three shots, including two on goal.

The Bearcats will return to action on Friday, Sept. 3, when they host Colorado College. Game time at Sparks Field is set for 7 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 1
Corban University 1 (2 OT)
Brendan Dineen scored for Willamette just 8:56 into the game on an assist from Mike McGrew.

Brendan Dineen scored for Willamette just 8:56 into the game on an assist from Mike McGrew.