Fraser Valley Defeats Willamette in International Exhibition, 1-0

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

SALEM, ORE. -- James McMillan scored on a 22-yard blast 4:08 into the game, leading the University of the Fraser Valley (Canada) to a 1-0 victory over Willamette University, during an international exhibition game at Sparks Field on Sunday, Aug. 25.

McMillan scored shortly after a corner kick by Ryan Liddiard. The kick by Liddiard was headed out of the penalty area by the Willamette defense. McMillan controlled the ball a few yards outside the penalty area before sending  powerful shot into the upper third of the net.

The goal by Fraser Valley was part of a strong start first 13 minutes for the Cascades. During that time, Fraser Valley earned six corner kicks, held most of the possession and recorded three shots.

Willamette gradually gained a foothold on the game, which led to an entertaining matchup between the two teams. The Beacats registered their first shot just under 15 minutes into the game on an attempt by Sebastian Mortimer (So., D, Moscow, ID/Moscow HS) that was blocked.

Fraser Valley held a 7-3 edge in shots at halftime. The Cascades finished the gasme with a 17-8 advantage in shots, including a 6-2 margin in shots on goal.

Although Willamette had fewer shots, the Bearcats still achieved quality possession, including several promising counter attacks.

Yazan Hishmeh (So., F, Ventura, CA/Saint Bonaventure HS) took one of the best shots of the game, a powerful 14-yard header that was about to go under the crossbar when UFV goalie Mark Village tipped it over at 49:06. Hishmeh also recorded a shot 51 seconds later that was saved by Village.

The Cascades created more shots than Willamette in the second half, but goalkeeper Josh Fuentes (Fr., Salem, OR/South Salem HS) kept the Bearcats in the match with four saves, including a couple of impressive stops.

Fuentes tipped a low drive wide of the left upright on a 24-yard strike by Justin Sekhon at 66:52 after a free kick by Colton O'Neill was blocked by the wall. Later, Fuentes made three saves in three minutes, ending with a stop on a header by James Najman at 78:08.

Overall, the Bearcats earned five saves, including one by Julian Juarez (So., GK, Honolulu, HI/Punahou School), who played the first 45 minutes. Village made two saves for Fraser Valley.

The game was played cleanly with plenty of pace and action. Willamette committed just seven fouls and UFV finished with six fouls. The teams combined for 16 corner kicks, with the Cascades achieving 11 and Willamette recording five.

Willamette will open the regular season on Friday, Aug. 30, when the Bearcats host Howard Payne University (Texas) at Sparks Field at 7:30 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats will complete the weekend with a home game on Sunday, Sept. 1 against Lawrence University (Wis.) at 4 p.m. (PDT). WU will play six of its first seven games at home.

U. of Fraser Valley (Canada) 1
Willamette University 0
Yazan Hishmeh placed two shots on goal for the Bearcats against Fraser Valley.

Yazan Hishmeh placed two shots on goal for the Bearcats against Fraser Valley.