Willamette Defeats NWC Favorites with 2-1 Win at PLU

McGrew and Kaufman Provide Goals for Bearcats

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

TACOMA, WASH. -- Mike McGrew (Jr., MF, Portland, OR/Grant HS) and Erik Kaufman (Jr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS) scored for Willamette University on Sunday, Sept. 18, as the visiting Bearcats defeated the Northwest Conference preseason favorites from Pacific Lutheran University, 2-1, at the PLU Field.

Willamette evened its overall record at 2-2-1, while improving to 1-1 in the NWC. The Lutes fell to 4-2 overall, 1-1 in the NWC.

McGrew scored early in the match on a 24-yard free kick into the upper corner of the goal. It was McGrew's third goal of the season and was recorded just 3:04 into the game. It was the third time this season that Willamette scored in the first 10 minutes.

Kaufman added a goal in the second half at 58:52 for a 2-0 lead. Adan Vazquez (So., F, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) started the play by sending a pass to Kaufman. After receiving the pass, Kaufman touched the ball past Pacific Lutheran goalkeeper Joe Rayburn before sending the ball into the net.

Pacific Lutheran tallied its only goal on a shot by Kevin Wien at 64:56. Wien scored on a header during a scramble in front of the Willamette goal. Several minutes later, the Lutes almost tied the game when a shot by Chad Kearns hit the crossbar.

The Bearcats kept the Lutes from scoring the rest of the way to preserve the road victory.

Willamette goalkeepers Alfredo Zuniga (Sr., Salem, OR/South Salem HS) and Jake Waldner (Fr., Mt. Vernon, OR/Grant Union HS). Zuniga played the first 48:23 and registered three saves. Waldner played the final 41:37 and earned two saves.

The Lutes outshot the Bearcats 17-6 overall and 6-3 in shot on goal, but Willamette made the most of its offensive chances. Two of the three shots on goal found the net, while Rayburn stopped the remaining shot for his only save.

Pacific Lutheran was picked first in the NWC Preseason Poll of the league's head coaches. The Lutes were 9-5 in the NWC last season.

Willamette will play its first NWC home game of the season at Sparks Field on Saturday, Sept. 24 against Pacific University. Game time is 2:30 p.m. (PDT).

NOTE:  The small photo associated with this story on the main Athletics page and the photo included with this story were both provided by Calder Productions.

Willamette University 2
Pacific Lutheran 1
Erik Kaufman scored his third goal of the season to give Willamette a 2-0 lead.

Erik Kaufman scored his third goal of the season to give Willamette a 2-0 lead.