Men’s soccer shining bright
The Loggers have had a bright start to the 2013 season with two wins in conference already, with a 3-2 win over Pacific University (Ore.) and a 4-0 win at George Fox University.
Most recently, in a rainy affair on Sept. 28 the Loggers triumphed 4-1 over the Willamette Bearcats.
The early game saw few decisive attempts by the Bearcats, though the Loggers largely maintained possession. The Bearcats began to show signs of life at the 10-minute mark, and nearly opened the scoring against the Loggers.
However, their forward was flagged offside at the last moment. The Loggers responded in kind with two corner kicks, both of which were well defended by the Bearcats to avoid conceding the first goal.
The Bearcats would not let up the attack and produced a solid save out of junior goalkeeper Nathan King (Preston, Wash.) only 12 minutes into the game.
Following the save the Bearcats had a pair of throw-ins that were stymied by the Logger defense.
The Loggers started to show some venom when a free kick was drawn right outside the Bearcats’ 18-yard box. A Bearcats player received a yellow card for the offense, much to the chagrin of Logger fans who thought it may have deserved a harsher penalty. The Logger free kick was deflected wide off of another Logger player.
The intense perseverance of the Loggers paid off in the 12th minute when the Bearcats’ keeper brought down a Logger forward in his own 18-yard box.
The keeper received a yellow card and could not stop the bullet of a penalty delivered by senior midfielder Carson Swope (Portland, Ore.) with 20 minutes gone in the first half.
The game ground on for another 14 minutes before the Bearcats summoned a response to the Loggers’ relentless attack, taking advantage of a missed clearance by the Logger defense and bringing the score to a 1-1 tie.
Having finally drawn level, the Bearcats held tight to the tied score for the rest of the first half.
The Loggers opened the second half with enthusiasm, putting Willamette under pressure right from the get go.
Logger fans were in an uproar when the referee apparently ignored an incident in which a Willamette player handled the ball in his own 18-yard box.
The Loggers would be rewarded, however, with a goal from sophomore midfielder Sam Zisette (Seattle, Wash.) eight minutes into the second half. Zisette settled the ball on the six-yard box after a dummy by one of his Logger teammates and nestled the ball in the back corner of the net to bring the Loggers up 2-1.
In one of his few tests in the second half, King remained solid in goal with a save shortly after the Loggers took the lead.
It was not long before the Loggers broke through again from a free kick on the edge of Bearcat territory.
The free kick was put home by senior forward Vincent McCluskey (Seattle, Wash.) 21 minutes into the second half. McCluskey was not too shy after that either, taking a second shot that swerved just past the Bearcat goal a mere four minutes after the Loggers increased their lead.
King would have one final test of the afternoon as he once again bettered the Bearcats’ offense with a save 15 minutes from time.
The afternoon’s weather poured on late into the game and the Loggers followed suit with a goal by junior midfielder Sean Ryan (Mill Creek, Wash.) in the closing minutes of the second half.
The Loggers continue their perfect record in conference this season with this win over the Bearcats, improving to three wins and zero losses in conference play.
Their season is starting to look promising for sure.