Willamette is Listed Fourth in NWC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll

Top Three Scorers Return for Bearcats

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

SALEM, ORE. -- The 2013 Northwest Conference Men's Soccer Preseason Poll has been released. Willamette University was picked to finish in fourth place, according to votes cast by the NWC head coaches. Whitworth University, which won the 2012 NWC title, received four first place votes and was predicted to repeat as champions this fall.

Whitworth earned the NWC title last season with a 10-2-2 conference record and finished the year at 13-3-3 overall. Head Coach Sean Bushey, the 2012 NWC Coach of the Year, resigned in March after 17 years, and Morgan Cathey was hired as Whitworth's new head coach. The four first place votes helped the Pirates attain 49 points in the Preseason Poll.

Listed second in the poll was Pacific Lutheran University with two first place votes and 43 points. The Lutes tied for second in the NWC standings last fall with a 9-4-1 record. PLU was 10-7-2 overall.

The University of Puget Sound was ranked third in the Preseason Poll with one first place vote and 41 points, after earning a 12-3-5 overall record and a 8-2-4 conference record in 2012. UPS tied Pacific Lutheran for second place in last year's final standings.

Willamette was fourth in the poll with 29 points. The Bearcats took fourth place last year with a 7-5-2 conference record on their way to a 10-7-2 overall mark.

Completing the NWC Preseason Poll were Whitman College (8-8-4, 6-5-3 NWC), ranked fifth with one first place vote and 28 points, Linfield College (7-11-0, 5-9-0 NWC) in sixth with 20 points, Pacific University (5-14-0, 3-11-0 NWC) in seventh with 12 points and George Fox University (2-16-1, 2-12-0 NWC) in eighth with 10 points.

The top three scorers from last season return for the Bearcats. Trevor Jensen (Sr., MF, Chula Vista, CA/Bonita Vista HS) led Willamette with eight assists and 18 total points. He scored five goals, including a three-goal hat trick against Linfield on Oct. 6, 2012.

Yazan Hishmeh (So., F, Ventura, CA/Saint Bonaventure HS) scored a team-high seven goals and added two assists for 16 points. Austin Jacobson (So., MF, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) tallied six goals and three assists for 15 points. Jacobson recorded the game-winning goal in Willamette's 3-2 double-overtime victory against Whitworth on Oct. 27.

Starting goalkeeper Braydon Calder (So., Philomath, OR/Philomath HS) also returns. Calder was 9-6-1 last season with a 1.36 goals against average, two solo shutouts and 55 saves.

Willamette will open the season on Friday, Aug. 30 with a home game against Howard Payne University (Texas). Kickoff at Sparks Field is set for 7:30 p.m. (PDT) following the Willamette women's soccer game against Howard Payne (5 p.m. kickoff). The Bearcats will play six of their first seven games at home, and will play 11 regular season home games overall.

Head Coach Lloyd Fobi is in his third season with the Bearcats. He has achieved a career record of 16-16-4, while rebuilding the Willamette program.

2013 NWC Men's Soccer Preseason Poll (1st place votes in parentheses)
1. Whitworth (4), 49 points, 13-3-3 overall, 10-2-2 NWC in 2012
2. Pacific Lutheran (2), 43 points, 10-7-2, 9-4-1 NWC
3. Puget Sound (1), 41 points, 12-3-5, 8-2-4 NWC
4. Willamette, 29 points, 10-7-2, 7-5-2 NWC
5. Whitman (1), 28 points, 8-8-4, 6-5-3 NWC
6. Linfield, 20 points, 7-11-0, 5-9-0 NWC
7. Pacific, 12 points, 5-14-0, 3-11-0 NWC
8. George Fox, 10 points, 2-16-1, 2-12-0 NWC

Note: Points were awarded on a 9-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 basis. Each coach was not allowed to vote for their own team.

Trevor Jensen led Willamette in assists (8) and overall scoring (18 points) last season.

Trevor Jensen led Willamette in assists (8) and overall scoring (18 points) last season.