Strong weekend for soccer, team runs winning streak to seven
Men’s soccer hit the road this past weekend with a winning streak of five games under their belts. Away from Baker Stadium, there was added pressure to continue with their excellent performance on the field. They did not disappoint.
The Loggers ended their weekend with two more wins over Willamette and Linfield on Sept. 22 and Sept. 23 respectively. The No. 24 Loggers remain perfect in Northwest Conference play (7-1-1, 4-0 NWC) and have run their winning streak to seven: a fantastic feat for a talented group of players.
With each passing season the Loggers have set their sights on Conference championships. And with each year, that goal comes closer within reach.
“I never felt that talent was an issue for our team in the past. During my first three seasons at Puget Sound the only problem we had was an inconsistent approach. That has really changed this year: our mentality is on another level. The leadership, from our coaching staff and captains, has been instrumental in keeping every player on the same page, both on and off the field. To me, the most exciting part is that we have yet to reach our plateau. This is an incredibly special group of guys and I feel privileged to be a part of the team,” senior Chris Shaw (Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) said.
The winning weekend began at Willamette. After a 0-0 finish at halftime, it was anybody’s game. However, the Loggers did not allow Willamette to gain the advantage.
According to Logger Athletics, in the 50th minute sophomore Sean Ryan’s (Mill Creek, Wash.) throw-in was flicked to the far post by junior Colin McIntosh (Olympia, Wash.), the ball was then headed into the lower left corner of the net by junior Andrew White (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) for a Logger lead of 1-0.
Four minutes after the first goal, freshman Sam Zisette (Seattle, Wash.) made an unassisted insurance goal for the Logger win.
Logger goalkeeper, senior Chris McDonald (Newton, Mass.), made two saves in the second half for their second consecutive shut-out match.
Zisette made his second winning goal over the weekend with his well–placed shot against Linfield. The goal came in the 21st minute of the game. Junior Landon Gauthier (Fox Island, Wash.) played the ball to the middle of the box where Zisette lifted his shot over the goalkeeper for the game-winner.
At half, Linfield was on the offensive driving 10 shots at the goal and allowing the Loggers only one. However, none of the shots were put on goal as the Loggers held on to another shut-out victory.
The victory marked the seventh consecutive win for the Loggers and during those seven matches only one goal has been allowed past the Logger goalkeeper. McDonald now owns a 0.64 goals against average (GAA) and is one shut-out shy from being second all-time on the Logger shut-out list. The win against Linfield was his sixth shutout match of the season.
As the Loggers prepare to face off against Whitman and 11th ranked Whitworth on Sept. 29 and Sept. 30, respectively, Puget Sound fans can only hope that the team’s drive and tremendous talent will carry the winning-streak to eight and then nine. With this particular group of men on the field, that is a very attainable goal.
“I feel confident in our team this year. We have matured a lot over the offseason, and have worked hard to put ourselves in the best position to contend for a conference championship. I think that this team has a strong mentality from top to bottom, and that we have all the components of a championship team. From here, it is the work that we put in every day in practice and games that will determine our season this year. That is an exciting position to be in, because it means that we feel that we can really control what shape our season takes. I haven’t talked about the skills this team has or many specifics at all because I feel we have those every year. This year we are mainly just excited to work hard, get better every time we step on the field, and come away at the end of the year having achieved the ultimate success of a conference championship, knowing that we left everything we had out on the field,” McDonald said.
The Loggers will be on the road this weekend. Check in at Logger Athletics to see how they are doing away from Baker Stadium.