The Whitworthian Coach of the Year: Sean Bushéy

After a year of many decisions and a final choice to resign, men’s head soccer coach Sean Bushéy has been selected as The Whitworthian Coach of the Year by The Whitworthian sports staff. Last fall, Bushéy led the men’s soccer team to a 16-3-3 season culminating with their eighth Northwest Conference title and seventh appearance in the NCAA tournament. “This season ended up being one of my most enjoyable,” Bushéy said. “We came together so quickly after having lost so many starters from the previous season;  it was awesome to witness. It was fun to be a part of and it was fun to see their success.”

Having lost seven starters and a total of nine seniors the previous year in 2011, coming together as a team was an accomplishment, junior Sam Selisch said.

“Everyone worked together, no one disliked each other and we all got along,” Selisch said. “We’re so personal with each other and we hang out all the time on and off the field.”

Bushéy’s way of coaching this team went noticed by his players.

“He helped our chemistry,” Selisch said. “I’ve never been on a team as close as this one and I think that played a part in our success this year. There’s something about that brotherhood of working hard and going through the same things; you feel for each other. The uniqueness of this team is the togetherness of it.”

Bushéy’s success on and off the field may be well-known but something that people may not be aware of is his impact on his players, freshman Samual Jarrett said.

“It goes beyond soccer,” Jarrett said. “He’s so inspirational and he has so much experience that can be learned as life lessons. He’s going to be missed in more ways than just a soccer coach.”

Bushéy finished his Whitworth career with his seventh appearance in the NCAA tournament. He will continue his career as Director of Coaching of the Senior Academy for the Colorado Rush youth soccer organization.

Jarrett agreed that the makeup of this team and their immediate togetherness was a main contributor to their success.

“We’re all about improving each other; no one is selfish,” Jarrett said. “Everything we do is for the better of each other. We push each other and really the main focus is moving forward as a team.”

Bushéy is known for his enthusiasm and passion about the game and about his players.

“If there’s one word for it; it’d be passionate,” Jarrett said. “He loves seeing us improve and if we’re not doing it right on the field the first time, he’s passionate to make us do it right the next time.”

Selisch echoed Jarret’s sentiments.

“It’s the same passion for everything and he’s always on point,” Selisch said. “He has enthusiasm on the sidelines and he always lets us know where we’re supposed to be. He just pushed us so hard and I love that about a coach. He never gives up.”

Perhaps one of his most commendable actions this season was during their final home game against Whitman. Bushéy checked in his second team with the confidence that they’d do the job just the same.

“You could tell he was confident and we were too,” Selisch said. “The whole team was brought together in that moment; no one person stood out, the team stood out. We were all there.”

For Bushéy, winning and losing was always extra. His favorite memories simply happened when he was around his players and around soccer.

“We watched Barcelona together in Robinson Teaching Theatre during training camp.  We began the tradition of singing the Barcelona anthem. To hear the team belt it out was is one of the things that happens off the field that is pretty neat,” Bushéy said. “Certainly going to the NCAA tournament is always special and just watching how we played and performed at the climax of our season and though we lost, we played soccer; Whitworth men’s soccer. I’m proud to have been a part of that.”

Bushéy will end his career at Whitworth with 17 successful years as the men’s head soccer coach under his belt. With eight NWC crowns, seven appearances in the NCAA tournament, and a culminating record of 209-86-35, Bushéy is a well-deserved Whitworth Coach of the Year.

Tiara Pajimola

Staff Writer

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Cathey named new men's soccer coach

Morgan Cathey was named the new Whitworth men’s soccer head coach last week according to a Whitworth athletic website press release. Former head coach Sean Bushéy resigned after 17 seasons with the program. Cathey will begin his duties on July 1 while Bushey will continue through the Pirates’ spring training.

Cathey is an Azusa Pacific University graduate from 2006, where he earned all-conference honors in his four years as APU’s starting goalkeeper. Cathey went on to a professional career in South Africa, spending four seasons.

The Whitworth men’s soccer program won eight of the last 12 NWC titles under Bushey. Cathey will be taking over a Pirate team that will lose just one starter to graduation, senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak. Whitworth will return four NWC First-Team players from last year, as well as six other NWC honorees in the coming 2013 fall season.

Korey Hope

Staff Writer

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Bushéy to leave Whitworth after 17 years

Men’s head soccer coach Sean Bushéy has decided to pursue another job opportunity in Denver, Colo., after 17 successful years at Whitworth University. This is the second head coach resignation this year, with volleyball coach Steve Rupe being the first. Athletic director Aaron Leetch has a vital role in the search to replace the coaches. Coaching positions are never set in stone, Leetch said.

“When people are that involved, you just never know,” Leetch said. “It’s not common or uncommon. Each person had different reasons for leaving and so we’ll support their decisions to do that.”

The decision wasn’t easy for Bushéy.

“This is an emotional time,” Bushéy said. “[The team] gives so much for the program. They gave a lot of satisfaction and joy to me and to give that up or to move away from that, that’s hard.”

The men’s soccer team was gathered for a meeting they assumed was a reminder to stay on top of their workouts, when not only Bushéy but also Leetch walked through the door.

“That normally doesn’t happen,” junior Anders Nostdahl said. “We thought it was the normal meeting that happens around this time to discuss spring training. He usually tells us if we haven’t been training for the conditioning class we need to start working. At first he just greeted us and then he just paused for a really long time.” Bushéy knew this was going to be tough news for the team.

“It’s not news they were expecting,” Bushéy said. “At that point it becomes a shock to the system. It’s a challenge to soak in all at once.”

And it was challenging for the men’s team including freshman Karl Muelheims, a graduate of Saint George’s School in Spokane. Muelheims is a Spokane player who has been raised in soccer programs, such as the Spokane Shadow, under Bushéy for the majority of his career.

“I was pretty bummed for the team but I was excited for him,” Muelheims said. “I’ve been indirectly coached by [Bushéy] since fourth grade; I didn’t expect it.” During the meeting, the team was reminded of the philosophy that Bushéy will leave at Whitworth.

“He talked about Whitworth as a soccer program and how it isn’t designed around one person or coach,” Nostdahl said. “When you have a good program, it’ll last through anything.”

Although the team does not get to ultimately decide who is hired for the position, they will have some input based on their impressions of each candidate.

“The team will be able to provide feedback,” Leetch said. “They do have a voice in the process.”

Next year’s returners hope to see somebody with many similar qualities to Bushéy.

“I hope he shares the same passion,” Muelheims said. “Sean definitely brings a certain element to the game that not a lot of coaches have and it’s incredible.” Nostdahl agreed.

“I’d like the new coach to keep the essence of soccer and have the passion close to what Sean did for the game,” Nostdahl said. Bushéy said he has confidence in the program for the coming years.

“The players that have been here have done great things,” Bushéy said. “The players that are here are good people, they are talented and I think that momentum will move forward.”

Bushéy had a huge impact on many men on the team, including Nostdahl.

“He just instilled a lot of values and a lot of character in me,” Nostdahl said. “Every year we lose players and losing a coach is just like losing another guy.” His impact was noticed beyond the men he coached, Leetch noted.

“The biggest part of it for me is he has left a positive long-lasting impact and influence on so many young men and that lives forever. That does not change,” Leetch said. “All the successes he had on the field hail in comparison to those young men. He helped mold their lives and that’s what’s important.”

Bushéy will leave behind many memories including his eight Northwest Conference titles and seven appearances in the NCAA tournament. He will continue to coach for the remainder of the year for the men’s spring training season as well as teaching multiple spring semester athletic courses.

At the end of the school year, Bushéy and his family will move to Colorado. There he will take over as the director of coaching of the Senior Academy for the Colorado Rush youth soccer organization.

“It’s not an easy decision but I think it was a unique opportunity to really go work alongside my brother,” Bushéy said. “The opportunity presented itself and it was just the right time to look and contemplate it. Change is hard. Leaving Whitworth is hard. But I feel that there are means and mechanisms that will carry God’s will there too.”

Although the change will be hard and will impact many people, Bushéy said his family will be united again.

“The boys will all be together and mom will have her older son,” Bushéy said. “I have a core belief in who they are and what the Whitworth men’s soccer program is and I believe in the strength of that.”

After many years of involvement with Whitworth soccer, Bushéy said he will still be a fan of the Pirate soccer program.

“It culminates to 17 years of all the different players that have come through the program and you start to feel a sense of loss,” Bushéy said. “I’ll certainly continue to be a Whitworth soccer fan. [My time] here has helped mold me into who I am as a father and husband and it’s been a great experience."

The soccer program and Whitworth as a school have been made better by Bushéy’s time as a coach, Leetch said.

“For him to go work with his family, his brother and his son is something that would be difficult for anybody to pass up,” Leetch said. “Sean is a leader not only of our soccer program but for our department and institution. He has been someone who has taken a program and built and built. That program is in such great shape and it’s because of him.”

Tiara Pajimola Staff Writer Contact Tiara Pajimola at

Spotted from the crow's nest: Kyle Novak, men's soccer

There are around 400 Division III goalkeepers in the nation, and Whitworth’s senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak had the fourth-best goals against percentage heading into the NCAA Tournamnet at .29. After taking over for all-conference goalkeeper Brian Sherpe, who graduated in 2012, Novak was given the role of starting in goal. However, he had big shoes to fill.

“[Sherpe] certainly was important to our 2009 run to the Elite Eight,” head coach Sean Bushey said. “He was an excellent competitor.”

Sherpe and Novak shared time in the net in 2010, and a study abroad trip to China took Novak from the program in 2011, leaving the bulk of the goalkeeping duties to Sherpe for his senior season. This season, teammates have noticed similarities between the two keepers.

“He makes the saves when we need it, and so did Sherpe,” junior defender Andrew Flint said. “They are both very capable of making saves.”

Novak added Sherpe is one of the most dynamic goalkeepers he has ever known, and takes advantage of learning from him. Sherpe is now a goalkeeper coach for this year’s program.

Bushey said that Novak has always been academically focused, which greatly influencing his decision to study abroad and miss his junior season.

“I knew I had more eligibility after the trip,” Novak said. “So I sat down with Coach and told him how important it was to me.”

Novak met Anthony Clark, a professor in Whitworth’s history department, his freshman year and has stayed close with him throughout his schooling. When Novak heard that Clark would be leading a study abroad trip, he knew it was something he had to consider.

“It was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” Novak said. “There was nothing like it.”

And now, back for his senior year, Novak has directed a strong Whitworth defense. Bushey said that by making the good decisions in distributing the ball and being aggressive at the right times, Novak eliminates extra work for his defense and the rest of his team.

“He also brings a calm and mature presence with him,” Bushey said. “Which allows himself and others around him to excel.”

Flint, who led the team in minutes played this season, played central defense in front of Novak. Not only does he enjoy the reassurance of having a solid goalkeeper behind him, he also recognizes Novak’s humility.

“He’s very humble,” Flint said. “And his prime focus is on other aspects of the team.”

Novak has noticed that he will be able to take life lessons from his experience in collegiate soccer. Along with responsibility that has been instilled in him by Bushey, Novak noted that maintaining athletic and academic schedules taught him integrity. On top of that, the friends  he has made and memories he has shared with teammates are experiences that he will always remember.

“And definitely the camaraderie with the guys on trips is priceless, too,” Novak said.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

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Season ends for Bucs in first round of NCAA tournament

Whitworth loses close contest in Texas against Choctaws of Mississippi College

The Whitworth men’s soccer team saw their season come to an end last Saturday, as they were defeated by Mississippi College 1-0 in a NCAA Division III first round game in San Antonio, Texas.

After clinching the outright Northwest Conference title for the first time since 2009, the Pirates’ first round game took them to Trinity University to face Mississippi College. The Choctaws had a 12-5-2 record on the year, good enough for their first American Southwest Conference title and NCAA Tournament experience in school history. The Pirates, on the other hand, were making their seventh NCAA Tournament appearance.

“It was a really exciting atmosphere,” Whitworth’s senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak said. “It’s always great to be back at the tournament.”

The first half was marked with slow play and a limited number of opportunities for either side. Only five of the 18 shots in the game occurred in the first half, including only one on target by Choctaw senior midfielder Hugo Flores in the first five minutes of the game. The teams went into the half at a stalemate.

Going into the half without allowing a goal was nothing new for the Pirates, having only given up two first half goals all year. Mississippi College has also done well defensively in the first half of games, allowing only six first-half goals on the season; however, this season the Choctaws gave up 19 second-half goals, and the Pirates looked to exploit Mississippi College’s typically weak second half defense. Whitworth threw seven shots at the Choctaw junior goalkeeper Robert Jackson, forcing him to make all four of his saves in the second half.

Mississippi College brought pressure of their own in the second half, winning a throw-in deep in Pirate territory in the 53rd minute of play. Junior forward Wesley Noble launched the throw into the box, where it was flicked on by junior midfielder Harrison Russell to senior forward Diego Ayala, who headed it past the Bucs’ goalkeeper Kyle Novak for a 1-0 lead. It was the sixth goal the senior had allowed in 18 games this year, which is part of the reason he had the fourth best goals against average  in the nation upon entering the match.

“He had a very good season,” head coach Sean Bushey said. “Whatever he does he wants to do it well, and he was certainly an important part of this year’s success.” With their season on the line, the Pirates began to press even harder on the offensive side of the pitch, firing seven of their nine total shots. Sophomore forward Robby Ubben, who led the team with seven goals this year, also led the team in shots throughout the game, owning one-third of Whitworth’s shots in the game.

The Pirates’ best opportunity, perhaps, came through Ubben, who received a pass in-stride between two Mississippi College defenders. Jackson, the Choctaw goalkeeper, saw that Ubben was through and left his goal line to greet Ubben about 12 yards out from the goal. The two players slid and collided on the ground, as the ball rolled out of play off the endline.

“I took a big touch and it went farther than I would have hoped, so I slid to try and get a touch on it,” Ubben said. “It was unfortunate because it was one of my better chances.”

Jackson took the worst of of collision, and remained on the ground for about a minute before returning to his goal with the help of Choctaw trainers.

Although the Pirates had the second half edge in shots, Mississippi College had one less shot than Whitworth, with their best chance to seal the deal coming in the final three minutes. Russell, who assisted the Choctaw goal, struck a shot from inside the box on a counter-attack, requiring Novak to come up with a save.

“I was focused on doing my job,” Novak said. “And the whole team continued to work hard every minute of the game.”

Despite the late acrobatic save to keep the Pirates in the game, time ran out on Whitworth, bringing their season to sudden halt in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

“The work and the energy and focus throughout the season was excellent,” Bushey said. “They definitely deserved to go to the tournament.”

The Bucs’ senior class had five players, including Novak. However, he is the only senior on the starting squad, meaning the Pirates will return nearly all of this year’s starters next season. Junior goalkeeper Nate Bell will graduate this year academically, but he still has one year of eligibility left and is undecided about whether he will return next season.

“That is still to be determined,” Bushey said. “He has academic plans and goals and they will always come first.”

Looking ahead to next year, Bushey says he always sees positive things coming in the future.

“Our outlook is always the same,” Bushey said. “We look forward to competing next season, but there is still a lot of hard work to be done and a lot of fun playing to be had.”

Korey Hope Staff Writer

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Men’s soccer clinches NWC title

Whitworth men's soccer team clinched the 2012 Northwest Conference title, despite losing two of its final three games of the regular season.

In the first game, the Pirates faced a Willamette team with five conference losses on the year, including one to the Whitworth earlier in the season. The Pirates needed only one more conference victory in their final three match-ups to clinch the NWC crown. Willamette's Trevor Jensen led the Bearcats with two assists and a goal, his eighth and fifth on the season, respectively.

Jensen wasted no time putting the Pirates under pressure, assisting teammate Tyler Yates to his third goal on the year in the 27th minute, putting Willamette up 1-0. Jensen put the Bearcats up 2-0 all by himself just after halftime, firing a shot from about 30 yards out and beating Pirate senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak. Although holding a 2-0 lead, Willamette did not show they were a second half team this year, allowing 25 goals in the second period of games as opposed to only three in the first period of games.

The Bucs contributed to that fact, storming back for two goals in the second half, sending the game to overtime. Sophomore forward Robby Ubben scored just after the hour mark on an assist by freshman defender Spencer Wolfe. Junior defender Balin Larson had the second goal for the Pirates, slotting away a penalty kick in the 82nd minute of play.

Willamette pushed on in the first period of overtime and found the game-winner from Austin Jacobson, assisted by Jensen. Although the Pirates lost for the first time this season, the bigger picture still allowed two more chances for the Bucs to clinch the 2012 NWC crown.

The second to last game of the season slated Whitworth against the Linfield Wildcats (7-9, 5-7 NWC). The Pirates faced off against Linfield in their first regular season game of the year, beating the Wildcats 2-0. Last weekend's match saw a closely contested game throughout, with Linfield matching Whitworth's shots on goal. However, the Bucs' pressure on the Wildcat defense and a pass from junior defender Andrew Flint opened up a shot opportunity for freshman forward Karl Muelheims, who shot it low to the near post, beating Linfield goalkeeper Scott Goodman in the 50th minute.

“[Flint] played it to me and my initial thought was to dump it in the box,” Muelheims said. “But once I pushed the ball past the defender I felt like I had time to get a shot off, so I took it and it went near post low corner.”

The goal turned out to be enough for the Conference title, as senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak and the Pirates' defense posted their 13th shutout of the year. It was the first time Whitworth won the Northwest Conference title outright since the 2009 season.

The final game of the season for Whitworth sent the Pirates to face Whitman in Walla Walla, Wash. Head coach Sean Bushey did not play a single regular starter in the game, giving less-experienced players more time on the field. And even yet, the Bucs still put up a fight, coming back from a one goal deficit to tie the game with less than 15 minutes remaining.

Sophomore midfielder Tyler Clarke saved the day for the Pirates, putting away a breakaway chance assisted by senior forward Kekoa Mountcastle.

But Whitman was not to be denied, seizing the game-winner just four and a half minutes into the overtime period, on a header by substitute Joe Virden that beat the back-up junior goalkeeper Nate Bell. Bell made just his fourth appearance of the season, and made eight saves throughout the match.

The Pirates are now preparing for a postseason run, with their first round game in the 2012 NCAA Division III Tournament being hosted by Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, this Saturday Nov. 10. The Bucs will face Mississippi College, the American Southwest Conference champions with a 12-5-2 record on the year.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

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Pirates near conference title with weekend sweep

Whitworth stays undefeated in NWC action, one win away from league title

The 9th-ranked Whitworth men’s soccer team collected a pair of home wins last weekend, with a 3-0 win against Pacific University Saturday, and a dominant 6-0 victory over George Fox Sunday. These wins put the Bucs seven points clear of Pacific Lutheran in the NWC standings and in need of only one more conference victory to clinch the 2012 NWC crown.

Saturday’s game saw the Pirates take on Pacific, who were sitting seventh in the NWC standings before the weekend. From the start of the match, Whitworth controlled the flow of play, firing 11 shots in the first half to Pacific’s three. Junior midfielder Andrew French led the team in the first half with three shots, a goal and an assist.

“He just continues to work hard,” head coach Sean Bushey said. “He’s had to persevere and it was good to see him get rewarded.”

French’s first highlight came from a shot that ricocheted off the post from 18 yards out, and fell right to sophomore forward Robby Ubben at the mouth of the goal, who tapped in the easy rebound to put the Pirates up 1-0 less than 15 minutes into the match.

The Bucs continued to press in the second half, and this time it was Ubben who helped create an easy goal for French, playing freshman forward Samuel Engle who crossed into French on the far post. Whitworth’s third and final goal gave freshman forward Karl Muelheims his first goal of his collegiate career, on senior forward Kekoa Mountcastle’s first assist of the year. A late goal off a corner kick put Pacific on the board, but wasn’t nearly enough to bring the Boxers back into the match. Whitworth out-shot Pacific 19-4. Sunday’s game against last-place George Fox was dominated by Whitworth as well, this time out-shooting their opponent 29-5. French continued his tally for the weekend, contributing two of the Pirates six goals, four of which came in the second half.

“I got to play a little bit higher up the field today,” French said. “And we passed really well around the box, so it was easy to find the net.”

Ubben added another goal on Sunday as well, with a delicate chip over GFU goalkeeper Elliott Davis on an assist from Engle, his second assist of the weekend.

“Engle stripped the ball from the defender and played me into space,” Ubben said. “I saw the keeper coming out and the only way past him was over him.”

The Bucs’ other three goals gave three Pirates each their first goal of the season, including Mountcastle, junior defender Balin Larson and sophomore midfielder Nathan Fosket. Only three games remain for Whitworth on the regular season schedule, traveling to Willamette and Linfield on Oct. 27 and 28, respectively, and ending the season at Whitman on Nov. 3. A victory in any of those matchups will secure a NWC title for the Bucs.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

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Pirates pass tough road test, remain unbeaten

The 10th-ranked Whitworth men’s soccer team remained undefeated on their road trip to western Washington last weekend, having tied University of Puget Sound 0-0 in two overtimes on Saturday and beating Pacific Lutheran 1-0 on Sunday. These two matches put the Pirates two games clear of PLU in the Northwest Conference standings with only five games remaining for each team in the regular season. It was the Bucs’ second meeting with both teams, and both games yielded nearly exact results as the previous matches. In a scrappy, foul-happy match-up only two weekends prior at the Whitworth soccer field, Whitworth and UPS fought once again to a similar 2OT scoreless draw. The most recent match, however, was a more even one in terms of shots and fouls, with both teams posting similar numbers.

Each team had six shots in the game, but the Bucs failed to get any of those shots on target. It was the second game in a row that the Pirates had been outnumbered in shots on goal, and only the second time all season. However, the defense felt they played one of their better games.

“Defense starts up front and through the midfield,” junior defender Andrew Flint said. “We just defended well as a team.” The Pirates once again did not allow a goal against UPS, and posted their 10th shutout in 12 games this season. The Bucs’ senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak continues to lead the conference in goals against per game, goals against on the season, and save percentage, which is at .935.

“When it comes down to it, he makes big plays,” Flint said. “He has three years of experience under his belt and it makes everyone back there more comfortable.”

Another continuance from the first matchup between these two teams was the number of fouls. Last Saturday’s game provided 32 total fouls, seven more than the teams’ last meeting. The foul count was the second highest the Pirates have seen all year.

“There were more opportunities for fouls with two overtimes and a slippery surface,” Whitworth head coach Sean Bushey said. “But the fouls just go along with the intensity of the game.”

Sunday’s game slated second place PLU against the first place Bucs. The last meeting between the teams saw the Pirates come back from being down 2-1 with just over 30 minutes remaining and win 3-2.

Although the Pirates pulled out the victory, they were out-shot once again, marking the third game in a row that has occurred. However, Novak saved all six shots on goal taken by PLU.

The Whitworth goal came in the 38th minute of play, as freshman forward Samuel Engle fired a shot from six yards out and put the Bucs up 1-0.

“Mike Chavez and the center back were scrapping for the ball,” Engle said. “I ran in hoping the ball would pop out and it fell between us so I poked it past him.”

It was Engle’s fourth goal of the season, just behind the team’s leading goal-scorer, sophomore forward Robby Ubben with five. With only five games to play and the second and third place teams already played twice, the Pirates’ are setting their sights on an outright Northwest Conference title.

“There is still work to be had,” Bushey said, looking forward to the rest of the regular season. “This is an important weekend coming up, we want to keep our advantage.”

The Pirates are back at home this weekend, hosting Pacific (4-10, 2-7 NWC) on Saturday at 2:30 pm, and George Fox (2-11-1, 2-7 NWC) on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

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Late goal lifts Whitworth

Ubben’s fourth match winner of the season helps Pirates fend off upset-minded Whitman College

The Whitworth men’s soccer team, ranked 11th in the nation, defeated Whitman 1-0 in two overtimes last Saturday, moving its record on the season to an undefeated 9-0-2 (6-0-1 NWC). Sophomore forward Robby Ubben had the game winner in the 106th minute of play to lift the Bucs to the victory.

Saturday’s goal was the team-leading fourth on the season for Ubben, all of which have been game winners.

“Hard work pays off in the end,” Ubben said. “My strength is working hard.”

Despite a losing record in conference play, Whitman has shown upset potential by knocking off previously undefeated University of Puget Sound on Sept. 29.

Holding the opposing team scoreless was nothing new for the Pirates, having done so in nine of their 11 games this season. Senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak had five saves for the Bucs, including a game-saving block just before the end of regulation.

Whitworth controlled most of the game in terms of possession and shots on goal. However, in the overtime periods Whitman earned its fair share of offensive opportunities, even edging Whitworth in shots on goal during the first overtime, 3-1.

But in the second overtime, the Bucs found a breakthrough. Playing much more solid defense, the Pirates did not allow a single shot on goal. With only five minutes remaining in the game, freshman forward Samuel Engle collected the ball near midfield, and found a striding Ubben around the top of the box, who calmly put it by Whitman’s goalkeeper.

“I was working on the left side of the field defensively, and David [Starkovich] worked hard to poke the ball away,” Engle said. “I was able to turn out and find Robby [Ubben] and thankfully he scored.”

It was Engle’s first assist on the season to go along with his three goals for the year.

“Engle popped out with the ball, and I saw the defense spring toward him,” Ubben said. “So I went outside which left me wide open and I was able to slot it past the keeper.”

The goal sparked a full team celebration, as Whitworth players rushed onto the field to dogpile on Ubben and celebrate the dramatic victory.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

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Pirates stay atop conference standings

Nationally-ranked Whitworth faces tough tests at home from PLU and UPS The Whitworth men’s soccer team, ranked 11th in the nation, has yet to lose in NWC play as they came back from a 2-1 deficit with 30 minutes remaining to beat Pacific Lutheran last Saturday and tied 0-0 in a physical match-up with Puget Sound on Sunday.

“It was a positive weekend,” head coach Sean Bushey said. “We got four out six possible points and remain at the top [of the NWC].”

Along with the Pirates, Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound were undefeated in conference play heading into the weekend, setting up two all-telling matches to determine who takes the early-season edge.

The Pirates’ first game of the weekend was against Pacific Lutheran on Saturday. PLU advanced to postseason play on a head-to-head tiebreaker last year after the two squads shared the NWC regular season title.

This particular game, however, would prove to be extremely out of the ordinary for the Pirates based off the season so far.

The first goal of the game came via an acrobatic bicycle kick from freshman forward Samuel Engle in the 10th minute, his third goal in the last two games for the Bucs. Junior midfielder Andrew French crossed the ball into the back post, where fellow junior midfielder Mike Chavez headed the ball back across the front of the goal, finding Engle for the spectacular overhead bicycle kick finish.

“It was mostly instinctive,” Engle said. “Mike [Chavez] worked hard to get to it and made it possible for me to get the shot off.”

A bicycle shot is a rarity at any level of competitive soccer.

“He’s a soccer player,” Bushey said about Engle’s goal. “There’s only one way for that to happen, and that’s playing soccer for a long time. It was neat to see.”

Just 13 minutes later, PLU equalized with a nicely placed shot inside the far post from 18 yards out. It was the first goal surrendered by the Whitworth defense in the previous 953 minutes of play, and only the second goal against the Pirates all season.

In the 56th minute, PLU blasted a shot from 25 yards out past Whitworth senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak, putting the Pirates behind for the first time this season.

The Bucs struck back ten minutes later, when junior defender Will Wren dribbled the ball down the left side of the box and made moves past PLU defenders, allowing him to make an easy pass to junior midfielder Sam Selisch, who slotted the open shot into the far post corner for his first goal of the season.

In the 83rd minute of play, the deadlock was resolved. Freshman forward Karl Muelheims, after coming in as a substitute, won the ball and played it through to sophomore forward Robby Ubben. Ubben managed to chip PLU goalkeeper Joe Rayburn to seal the game-winner for the Pirates.

“I started my run early and the ball split the defenders perfectly,” Ubben said. “I saw the keeper come out so I flicked it over him and it worked out.”

The second match of the weekend brought University of Puget Sound to Whitworth, fresh off a surprising upset loss against Whitman.

The Bucs expected a tough, physical matchup, which is exactly what they got. In a game that saw 25 fouls and 19 shots on goal, neither side was able to breakthrough, and the match ended a 0-0 tie after two overtime periods, giving the Pirates their eighth shutout in ten games this season.

“[Andrew] Flint and Balin [Larson] are a great combination,” Bushey said of the Pirates’ defense. “Matt Bray and Colin [Shockman] played great as well, it’s certainly a group effort.”

The Pirates have one match next weekend as they host Whitman (4-6-2, 2-3-1 NWC) this Saturday, Oct. 6.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

Contact Korey Hope at

Sports recaps: Sept. 20 - Sept. 26

Women’s soccer extends win streak The Whitworth women’s soccer team continued its winning streak and improved to 5-0 in conference play with a pair of wins against George Fox and Pacific (Ore.). On Saturday, the Pirates secured their second road victory of the year. Senior midfielder Mackenzie Grow scored the game-winning goal in overtime after a closely matched game. The final score was 1-0. On Sunday, the Bucs were once again victorious over the Boxers of Pacific University. Grow was able to capitalize on a penalty kick for the first goal of the match. The second goal came in the second half from sophomore midfielder Jackie Day. Next week the Pirates will compete on Saturday and Sunday as they host Pacific Lutheran University and the University of Puget Sound.

Men’s soccer earns sweep during Oregon trip

The men’s soccer team traveled to George Fox and Pacific (Ore.) last weekend, collecting two more conference victories and taking their record to 4-0 in Northwest Conference play. Sophomore striker Robby Ubben put away a corner kick taken by junior midfielder Anders Nostdahl in the 31st minute against George Fox on Saturday, which was enough for senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak, who saved all three shots on target from George Fox to produce another shutout for a 1-0 victory. Strong defense supported by two goals from freshman forward Samuel Engle in the second half helped Whitworth post its seventh shutout in eight opportunities this season en route to a 2-0 victory over Pacific. The final three undefeated teams in NWC play will be in Spokane next weekend, as Whitworth hosts Pacific Lutheran (5-3-1, 4-0 NWC) on Saturday, and Puget Sound (7-1-1, 4-0 NWC) on Sunday.

Theon leads Whitworth in Idaho

The men’s golf team began the first day of competition with an outstanding 36 holes last weekend at the North Idaho Invitational. After the first day of competition, both of the attending men’s teams were standing strong at fourth and fifth respectively.  Stephen Theon led the Pirates with a 72-74 first two rounds. The men’s team continued the tournament on Monday, Sept. 24,  which was after press time for The Whitworthian. Check online at for results and extended coverage of the event.


Men’s golf online extended coverage update:

Whitworth men’s golf conclude play in Idaho

The men’s golf team concluded play at the North Idaho Invitational on Monday. After three rounds of play, the two competing Whitworth men’s teams finished fifth and sixth respectively.

Freshmen Whitworth golfers has strong showings to bolster the team finishes in the tournament..  Freshman Oliver Rudnicki shot a combined score of 222, leading team two with a sixth place finish overall. Freshmen Stephen Thoen also finished tied for 12th place with a combined score of 226.

Freshman Lyle Rudnicki shot a combined 225 to lead team one, giving him a 10th place finish overall.  Additionally, freshman Samson Martinez shot 228 to finish 16th overall in the tournament.

“The performance of these freshmen today shows me that we have a very talented group of newcomers with great depth,” said head coach Warren Friedrichs. That depth was especially needed this weekend, as junior Jesse Salzwedel was unable to compete for personal reasons.

“We have good focus and the team environment we’ve fostered is excellent at this point,” Friedrichs said.

“It was great opposition and we got common competitive rounds.  Ultimately, we wanted to see who would step forward this weekend.”

Fortunately for the Pirates this week, both team one and two were competitive throughout the tournament.

“I think we’ve played in a lot of big tournaments before, and practice has really helped us prepare mentally for these things,” said freshman Oliver Rudnicki.  “The team camaraderie we have makes it really good to play on a team you’re excited to play for.”

While team unity is important, Friedrichs emphasized that performance that is at the top of the Pirates’ list as the season goes on.

“We want to put the Northwest Conference in the national spotlight,” said Friedrichs.  “Our league is improving, and that means we’ll need to get consistent play of our team as well as a player or two to step up when we need them to.”

The men’s team will play next weekend at the Whitman Invitational in Walla Walla, Wash. on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1.

Whitworthian Sports Staff

Bucs take care of business on home pitch

Junior defender Will Wren scored three goals last weekend, lifting the Whitworth men’s soccer squad to a 2-0 victory over Linfield on Saturday, and a 1-0 win over Willamette on Sunday. The matches were the first Northwest Conference games this year for the Pirates, putting Whitworth (5-0-1, 2-0 NWC) in the early driver’s seat. In Whitworth’s first game against the Linfield Wildcats, the Pirates’ fast pace kept their opponent out of sync the entire match. The fast-paced style of play won a free kick for Whitworth down the left side in the 15th minute. Mike Chavez crossed the ball into the box and found the head of Will Wren who smoothly directed it into the back of the net at the near post.

“It was all just kind of instinctive,” Wren said when recounting his first goal.

The instincts Wren was feeling continued nine minutes later on a corner kick taken by junior Anders Nostdahl. He crossed the ball in towards the back post, where it got past Linfield’s goalkeeper Scott Goodman and fell right to Wren’s head once more, and he calmly put the Bucs up 2-0 with just under 20 minutes left in the first half.

The Pirates not only dominated the game on the offensive side, but on the defensive side as well, allowing only two shots the entire game.

“We just work so well together, we all have great chemistry,” said Wren. “We also have great coaches. They have a ton of experience and they help us out a lot.”

The Wildcats’ leading goal scorers Jake Baker and Danny Snelgrow were completely halted, and found themselves playing more defense than offense. With Whitworth’s suffocating defense and pressing offense, Linfield (2-2, 0-1 NWC) failed to get any shots on target.

On Sunday, Whitworth took on the Willamette Bearcats in the second game on the weekend, and wasted no time implementing their fast style of play once again. Although it took them 83 minutes to break through, Will Wren managed to get the job done once again, this time with his feet.

He remained in the attack quite a bit during the match, allowing him to receive the ball on the left flank late in the game. From there, Wren maneuvered past two Willamette defenders to the middle of the field and fired a shot from 18 yards out that deflected off the hands of the Bearcats’ goalkeeper Brayden Calder, and into the goal. Calder, a freshman, had a fantastic performance up to that point, keeping the Bearcats in the game until the end with critical saves early in the game and just before halftime.

However, the Pirates’ quick and relentless attacking took a toll on the Willamette defense and goaltender.

When asked about the team’s conditioning and fitness, Wren explained that the quick pace of Whitworth’s game requires them to be fit, so the conditioning comes with the style of play.

“We have a lot of quick guys, too. Like [Andrew] French on the outside, he always makes things happen with his speed,” Wren said.

Willamette was a difficult task for the Pirates’ offense, more so than Linfield. The Bearcats held Whitworth to just three shots on target in the game as opposed to Linfield’s allowance of nine. Whitworth’s defense, however, continued its stellar play, allowing a total of just one shot on target for the whole weekend. Senior goalkeeper Kyle Novak went the first 177 minutes on the weekend without having to make a save.

The team is back in action next weekend, traveling to George Fox (0-6-1, 0-2 NWC) on Saturday, and then to Pacific (2-5, 0-2 NWC) on Sunday.

Korey Hope Staff Writer

Contact Korey Hope at