Hishmeh's Goal and Assist Lead Willamette to 3-0 Win in Battle with PLU

Tait and Jensen also Score for Bearcats

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Yazan Hishmeh (So., F, Ventura, CA/Saint Bonaventure HS) scored the game's first goal and recorded an assist to lead Willamette University to a 3-0 victory over Pacific Lutheran University in a Northwest Conference men's soccer match on Saturday, Oct. 26 at Sparks Field.

Both teams entered the contest tied for fourth place in the NWC. Willamette improved to 9-4-2 overall and to 5-3-2 (17 points) in the NWC, claiming sole possession of third place with their fourth win in five matches.

Pacific Lutheran dropped to 9-4-3, 4-4-2 in the NWC, falling all the way to sixth place with the loss. Linfield College, which held third place at the start of the day, dropped a 4-0 decision to the University of Puget Sound to fall into a fourth place tie with Whitman College.

Though the teams played a scoreless first half, the Lutes gave the Bearcats some trouble on set pieces, forcing Braydon Calder (So., GK, Philomath, OR/Philomath HS) into a pair of early saves.

The first came just over five minutes into the game, when Calder stopped Troy-Mikal Oliger's header off a PLU corner kick. The Lutes earned another corner at the 13:13 mark, but Calder was once again up to the task, keeping out a header from Jeff Piaquadio.

The sophomore keeper was once again called into action in the 30th minute, stopping an effort from Giancarlo Santoro to maintain the scoreless tie.

Willamette managed just three shots in the first period, but Hishmeh broke the deadlock with an unassisted effort in the 63rd minute. Though PLU goalkeeper Joe Rayburn managed to slow Hishmeh's powerful effort down, the ball tucked into the upper right corner of the net.

It was Hishmeh's team-leading ninth goal of the season, moving the sophomore into a tie with Whitman's Alex Barsher for second place in the NWC.

After Hishmeh's goal, the Bearcats began to pile on the pressure, with Trevor Jensen (Sr., MF, Chula Vista, CA/Bonita Vista HS) forcing Rayburn into his first save of the match at 66:19.

Just five minutes later, Willamette pushed its lead to 2-0, off a sharp header from Ethan Tait (So., MF, Turlock, CA/Turlock HS).

Adan Vazquez (Sr., F, Woodburn, OR/Woodburn HS) provided the assist on the goal, sending a cross toward Tait in the penalty area. Tait then headed the ball into the upper left corner of the net from approximately 10 yards away.

PLU attempted to climb back into the match, but Calder made his fourth save of the day at 75:03, stopping an effort from Derek Johnson. Jensen then put the game to bed in the 79th minute, tucking home a feed from Hishmeh for his seventh goal of the year.

The Bearcats and Lutes finished the match tied in shots (11-11) and shots on goal (4-4), though PLU achieved a 6-3 advantage on corner kicks and Willamette committed 17 fouls to the Lutes' 10. PLU's Bryce Archambeault and WU's Stefan Wutte (Fr., MF, Dallas, OR/West Salem HS) received caution cards.

Willamette will host its final home match of the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 27, as the Bearcats take on the NWC's first place team, Puget Sound. While kickoff at Sparks Field is set for 2:30 p.m. (PDT), Willamette will honor its five seniors prior to the start of the match.

BOX SCORE

Willamette University 3
Pacific Lutheran University 0

Yazan Hishmeh contributed a goal and an assist in WU's 3-0 win over Pacific Lutheran.

Yazan Hishmeh contributed a goal and an assist in WU's 3-0 win over Pacific Lutheran.