Bearcats and Missionaries Battle through Rain to 1-1 Tie

Thompson Scores first career goal for Willamette

By John Lind, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Playing through torrential rain, the Willamette University men’s soccer team battled through two overtimes to earn a 1-1 tie against Whitman College on Sunday, Oct. 28 at Sparks Field.

Willamette moved to 9-7-2 overall and 6-5-2 in the NWC. Whitman’s record went to 7-8-4 overall, and 5-5-3 in the NWC.

With the win, the Bearcats retained fourth place in the NWC standings. More importantly, they guaranteed that they would have a winning overall record for the first time since the 2000 season, when Willamette finished 10-8-2.

A heavy downpour marked the majority of the game. Largely due to the conditions, the first half was hard-fought and sloppy. Both teams struggled to retain possession, with a total of six shots and 17 fouls during the first 45 minutes.

The second half saw a marked improvement from both sides, with the tempo and intensity of the game rising.

It wasn’t until early in the 72nd minute that the scoreless tie was broken. Whitman’s Andrew Clark was on the receiving end of a Missionary free kick. After a scuffle in front of the goal, he put the ball past Bradley Eckerson (Sr. GK, Portland, OR/Cleveland HS) to put Whitman up 1-1.

Following the goal, Willamette changed its pace and took control of the game. The Bearcats registered five shots and three corner kicks over the next 13 minutes.

With about two minutes left in regular time, Austin Jacobson (Fr., MF, Salem, OR/South Salem HS) lined up a corner kick. Having subbed in just several minutes earlier, Jesse Thompson (Fr., F, Santa Ynez, CA/Santa Ynez HS) headed the ball into the net near the back post, sending the Bearcats into a frenzy and the score into a tie. The goal was Thompson’s first of the season.

During the two overtime sessions, the Bearcats and Missionaries fought back and forth, totaling eight shots.

For the game, Willamette had the edge on shots and shots on goal, outshooting Whitman 16-14 and 7 to 4, respectively. Etienne Galbreath (Sr., D, Portland, OR/Grant HS) led the Bearcats with four shots. Yazan Hishmeh (Fr., F, Ventura, CA/Saint Bonaventure HS) contributed three shots, and two of those were shots on goal. Overall, Willamette had eight players record a shot.

Eckerson played all 110 minutes in goal and recorded three saves. Whitman goalkeeper Michael Bathurst registered six saves for the Missionaries.

Willamette concludes its season next Saturday, Nov. 3, against Northwest Conference foe Linfield College. Game time is set for 2:30 p.m. (PDT). On Oct. 6, the Bearcats defeated Linfield in an intense 3-2 victory.

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 1
Whitman College 1 (2 OT) 

Jesse Thompson scored his first goal for the Bearcats to tie the game with 1:59 left in regulation.

Jesse Thompson scored his first goal for the Bearcats to tie the game with 1:59 left in regulation.