Pirates sweep Willamette on Senior Weekend, earn Conference Playoff spot

Whitworth celebrated ten seniors on their club and did so in  winning fashion by wrapping up the regular season with a three-game sweep of the Willamette Bearcats. In the process, the Pirates clinched a berth in the inaugural Northwest Conference baseball playoff tournament, which will be hosted by Pacific Lutheran this weekend. Whitworth senior Dan Scheibe got the ball rolling on Saturday, fanning nine Willamette batters in just over six innings of work, while allowing only two runs to score. Scheibe now has 295 career strikeouts in his Whitworth career.

The Pirates got solid relief efforts from freshman T.J. Orchard and senior Carson Blumenthal en route to winning the first game of the day on Saturday, 5-3.

Whitworth’s offense in the game came from a two-run double by senior Thomas Wakem in the second inning, solo home runs by senior Nick Motsinger and senior Josh Davis in the fourth and seventh innings, respectively, and an RBI single from junior Skyler Lookabill in the seventh inning.

It was after that first victory that the Pirates had clinched their berth into the Northwest Conference playoffs.

The game of the weekend – from a purist baseball viewer’s perspective – was the second game of the Saturday doubleheader. Whitworth mounted a three-run ninth inning comeback, all sparked by a pinch hitter.

Whitworth senior Spencer Ansett was roughed up a bit, allowing seven runs in six and two-thirds innings of work. However, the Pirates were able to stay close with the Bearcats, entering the ninth inning down by a pair of runs with the middle of the order coming up.

After senior Josh Davis and sophomore Matt Nelson singled to start the inning, Whitworth coach Dan Ramsay sent freshman Brett Moser to pinch-run for Nelson, and Lookabill to the plate to pinch hit. With those substitutions, Whitworth would have had some players play out of position on defense if the game went into extra innings.

“To be honest, I hadn’t thought that far ahead,” Ramsay said. “There’s something special about (Lookabill), I knew he’d pull through for us.”

Lookabill was attempting to sacrifice the runners into scoring position with a bunt. After the second strike on him, Willamette’s catcher Jacob Parra tried to pick-off Davis from second base. The ball was thrown away, and the Pirates runners moved into scoring position.

“I wasn’t really thinking, which is probably a good thing. If I was thinking anything, it was just that I was grateful to get a second chance,” Lookabill said.

On the 0-2 pitch, Lookabill shot a grounder through the middle of the infield to drive in the two runs to tie the game at seven. The Pirates were then able to sacrifice Lookabill to third base. Willamette elected to intentionally walk a pair of Pirate players to load the bases, so there were force outs at every base.

With two outs, senior Nick Motsinger came to the plate with the bases loaded. Motsinger waited out the Bearcats pitcher and earned a walk, which forced in Lookabill for the game-winning run.

After those two big wins on Saturday, the Pirates returned to the field Sunday for Senior Day, where they honored the team’s ten senior players. Before the game, the team got a surprise when faculty advisor Eric Sartell showed up at Merkel Field. Sartell had been teaching abroad in the British Isles for the past month.

“I took a red-eye flight to get back yesterday. There was no way I was going to miss Senior Day,” Sartell said.

After a ceremony honoring the seniors before the game, the Pirates came out on fire, scoring four runs in the first inning of the game. Senior Cory Mack lasted seven innings for the Pirates on the mound, allowing four runs (two earned).

“I felt really good today,” Mack said. “Other than the home run – which I’m impressed with how (Willamette senior Tiras Koon) was able to take a slider that was at his feet and put it over the wall – today was a great day.”

After Mack exited the game, Coach Ramsay handed the ball to senior Nick Scourey for the final two innings. “It was surreal. I’ve been struggling lately, and to be able to come out and pound the zone like that was good for me, especially with it being my last time here at Merkel Field,” Scourey said.

The Pirates closed out the game with a win 11-4, completing their fourth conference sweep of the season. Whitworth finished the season with a 25-13 record overall, 16-8 in the Northwest Conference. Whitworth will travel to Pacific Lutheran on Friday for the Northwest Conference tournament and will take on Linfield in the first round.

 

John Ekberg

Staff Writer

Men's tennis finishes weekend on a Willamette win

The men’s tennis team split their two matches this weekend at home against Pacific University and Willamette University, ultimately knocking the Bucs out of playoff contention in the Northwest Conference. Whitworth lost 6-3 Saturday in a hard-fought match against Pacific University inside the Scotford Tennis Center.

“Pacific played just a little bit better than us today,” Coach Mike Shanks said. “They have some real quality players, but we are making progress, as we lost 8-1 and did not win any of our doubles matches when we played them away.”

Whitworth started off the day winning two out of their three doubles matches, but had a disappointing singles performance, winning only one of six matches. Junior Drew Brigham and sophomore Shane Sandlin won their No. 1 doubles match 8-6, while sophomore Caleb Hughes and junior Drew Adams won their No. 3 doubles match in a 9-8 tiebreaker.

Hughes also started at the No. 6 spot in singles and pulled off a win in three sets after losing the first one.

“I feel like I am playing adaptable tennis, as I am able to play different opponents in different ways, and figure out how to beat them,” Hughes said. “Today it was important for us to keep the positive energy going, and continue to focus on one point at a time.”

Although Hughes was the only Buc to win in singles, the matches were much closer than the final team score suggested. Adams started at the number four spot and lost a heartbreaker in three sets, while Brigham started at the number one spot and lost a hard fought match to Giancarlo Battalgia, a senior who is undefeated this year, and who Shanks said, “will probably win the Northwest Conference player of the year.”

On Sunday, Whitworth blew out Willamette 8-1 at the Scotford Tennis Center. The Bucs started off the day by sweeping the Bearcats 3-0 in doubles, and then won 5-1 in singles, with half of the matches played outside on a windy day.

“In doubles, we were really aggressive. We saw our opponents weaknesses and took advantage of them,” junior Blake Miller said. “In singles it was different playing outside with the wind, but I definitely got my rhythm more in the second set.”

Miller started off the day with a dominant performance in doubles partnered with Matt Goebel, winning 8-1. In singles, Miller dropped the first set, but came back to win 6-3 in the second set, and finished the match off with a 10-2 win in the tiebreaker.

After losing Saturday, Brigham came back with a dominant win in straight sets on Sunday, while Hughes continued his winning run by winning in straight sets without dropping a game in the process. Sophomore Jeffrey Vulis and freshman Ryan Adams got their first starts of the season in singles, and both had assertive performances winning in straight sets.

Vulis is a transfer student from University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, who was battling a back injury in the first half of the season.

“The support of my teammates and the fans definitely helped me during the match,” Vulis said. “I did well with being patiently aggressive, waiting for my proper moment to come in and attack.”

The Bucs play again at home on Wednesday, April 15 against Lewis and Clark State.

 

Kyle Cacoyannis

Staff Writer

Tennis splits road contests

The women’s tennis team split their two matches on their trip down to Salem, Oregon and Walla Walla, Washington last weekend, blowing out Willamette on Saturday, but losing on Sunday to Whitman. Whitworth added more to its recent success with an 8-1 win over Willamette in Salem, Oregon.

“I definitely see the team getting better with every week. We have been working hard in practice and are bringing what we learn to matches,” sophomore Bella Hoyos said. “In doubles Anabelle [Burns] and I were super consistent and forced a lot of errors.”

Hoyos won her doubles match with sophomore Anabelle Burns 8-1, and also won her singles match in straight sets starting at the No. 2 spot. Senior Saryn Mooney and senior Morgan McDivitt also won their doubles match and both of their respective singles matches.

Whitworth capped off a sweep in doubles with a 5-1 win in singles. Every match the teams won ended in straight sets.

Freshman Jennifer Adams won her doubles match with Taylor Pena 8-5, and also won her singles match in straight sets starting at the No. 3 spot.

“As a freshman, it’s pretty nice to be doing well, but I’m starting to get in my groove a little bit,” Adams said. “In doubles we were able to hold serves and stay focused, and in my singles match I was able to play consistently.”

Sunday’s match against Whitman in Walla Walla was also not very close, except this time Whitworth was on the other side of the score, losing 7-2.

“The major difference between Saturday and Sunday was the caliber of the team on the other side of the net,” head coach Rachel Aldridge said. “When we play our best tennis we are closely matched with Whitman, but we did not play our best tennis today.”

Whitworth lost all three of their doubles matches, but Bella Hoyos and Morgan McDivitt came up with wins in their respective singles matches. Hoyos continued her winning form, doing so in straight sets, while McDivitt had a grind-out win in three sets after losing the first one.

“I tried to think of the score as zero to zero after losing the first set, and focus on playing patient and just playing my game,” McDivitt said. “The players we played against today were definitely harder and more consistent than yesterday.”

Whitman finished first in the Northwest Conference last year, and currently remain tied in first place with Linfield. With the loss on Sunday, Whitworth remains in fourth place in the conference, where they have a 3-2 record.

 

Kyle Cacoyannis

Staff Writer

Softball wins three of four against Willamette

On Feb. 28, the softball team pulled off a double win against Willamette, shutting them out 3-0 in the first game and achieving a 9-5 victory with the second. The following day, Whitworth lost a game 3-1 before finishing out the weekend with an 11-0 victory, resulting in an overall series win against Willamette. Whitworth’s defense played a massive role in the first game, preventing Willamette from scoring throughout the game. After successfully preventing Willamette from scoring in the first inning, senior outfielder Peyton McMahon broke the ice and landed a hit that resulted in a Whitworth run. This trend continued into the second and third innings with Willamette being held at bay until Whitworth’s offense retaliated with two more runs.

For the rest of the game, however, not a single run against Willamette was scored. Inning after inning onwards, the game was entirely defensive, with both Whitworth and Willamette preventing runs from reaching the board. Whitworth proceeded to get a total of 21 outs to Willamette’s 18 outs, and in spite of some close calls in the fifth and sixth innings, the game ended at 3-0.

“We hit well today and played a really defensive game. We have a really solid defense,” freshman UT Kelsey Downey said of the first match.

The Pirates followed up their first victory against Willamette with another one that began a half hour later. Gaining a 6-0 lead early on, the Bucs continued their offensive strike by scoring three more in the latter half of the game, but also let five get by.

The next day, the Bucs had their third game against Willamette. For the first four innings, not a single run was scored. The second and third innings were particularly tense, with Whitworth barely preventing the Bearcats from scoring. They first gained an out on a near home run in the second and then successfully stopped a Willamette player midway through a steal. During the fifth inning, Willamette landed a single run before getting two more due to a home run hit. Whitworth managed to get a run up on the board during the next inning, but didn’t achieve a comeback, resulting in a 3-1 loss.

The fourth and final game off the series kicked off shortly afterward with the Bucs holding off Willamette defensively before hitting two runs within the first inning. While the second inning saw no points being scored either way, the third inning saw a major change of pace for the game. After scoring twice again, Whitworth hit three home runs, with sophomore Kayla Batastini hitting the first and being shortly followed by senior Peyton McMahon and sophomore Kelsey Stroshine. With no more runs made for the rest of the game, the final tally came to be 11-0, resulting in Whitworth winning the series against Willamette.

“We out-hit and out-pitched them, with very minimal earned runs given up,” head coach Cristal Brown said.

The wins against Willamette continues the team’s streak of no series losses.

“We have a team goal to not lose a single series,” freshman outfielder Chelsea Hayes said.

The Whitworth softball team will be playing another four games this Saturday and Sunday against Pacific Lutheran at home.

 

Will Carsh

Staff Writer

Men's basketball defeats Willamette with five Pirates in double figures

A towel over the face of junior Willamette forward Brandon Luedtke with less than a minute to play said it all for the Whitworth vs. Willamette tournament game on Thursday night. Luedtke, an All-NWC First Team selection, fouled out with less than five minutes to play en route to an 89-64 victory for the Pirates in the first round of the Northwest Conference Tournament. Despite the one-sided end result, the No. 4-seeded Bearcats proved to be a tough bunch. A slow offensive start for the Pirates left Willamette leading 10-5, five minutes in.

However, with strong offensive play from senior forward Adam Wilks, the deficit was closed and the Pirates found themselves tied at 16 three minutes later. A pull-up 3-pointer from sophomore guard and NWC Player of the Year, Kenny Love, sparked a 5-0 run for the Pirates to put them up 21-18. They would retain the lead for the rest of the game. Wilks early performance foreshadowed the 52 points in the paint the Pirates would score in the matchup.

“[Senior forward Taylor Farnsworth and I] just bring a lot of experience. We’ve both been here before and when you have that kind of leadership on the front lines it can just steady the guys,” Wilks said. “When we don’t get off to a great start, when we have the ability to bring in myself, a senior off the bench, to just keep things calm and play our game it really is a huge advantage for us.”

A second pull-up Love 3-pointer would contribute to an eight-point Whitworth lead with six and a half left in the first. A lay-in from sophomore forward Christian Jurlina off a Bearcat turnover would be the only points for Jurlina in the first half. However, 12 points for junior forward George Valle and eight for Kenny Love in the first half were the beginning of a multidimensional scoring effort from all areas of the floor for the Bucs.

“I think the key to our offense recently has been how balanced it has been,” Valle said. “I think we had five guys in double figures tonight which means everyone is scoring, everyone is sharing the ball, passing the ball and getting good looks. I think that’s really the key as to why we’re being so efficient on offense.”

After generating a 43-29 lead at halftime, the Bucs continued their offensive onslaught with Wilks, Love, Valle, freshman guard Matt Staudacher and even Jurlina all reaching double figures by the end of the contest. Inspired performances from Luedtke with 12 and senior Bearcat forward Kyle McNally with 18 points and 10 rebounds would not be enough to overcome the Pirates’ 51.5% shooting from the field and 53.8% from beyond the arc.

Willamette came into the second half with spirited efforts on the offensive and defensive sides of the floor and the Bucs’ early attempts to increase the lead were stymied. However, a steal by Love three minutes in led to a one-handed dunk in traffic that put the ice on any potential Bearcat comeback.

“[The Bearcats] have a great heart. They continue to fight and they’re a hard team to put away which is why they made the playoffs in the first place,” head coach Matt Logie said. “We had a lot of respect for them coming in. We didn’t feel like we played our best in either of those previous matchups with them to date, but we were able to play a little bit better tonight.”

The closest the Bearcats would ever come was within 11, but no further. Love finished with 16, Valle with 19, Staudacher with 11 and Wilkes with 14. In addition, Jurlina highlighted the second half of play with another 14 points after just scoring two in the first half.

“They were playing pretty heavy denial on me [in the first half], but it actually worked out well because it opened up lanes and scoring opportunities for my teammates which is actually pretty good,” Jurlina said. “The second half they sort of stepped off a bit and gave me some space and I was able to utilize that to my advantage.”

Despite Whitworth foul trouble throughout the game, the only player in the game who would foul out would be Luedtke in the closing minutes. Missed opportunities from the 3-point line would prove costly for Willamette as well, going 3-19 from beyond the arc.

The Pirates advance to play upset-minded Lewis & Clark for the tournament championship after Lewis & Clark defeated No. 2-ranked Whitman, 84-73. The championship contest will be played on Saturday night in the Fieldhouse.

 

Connor Soudani

Sports Editor

Swimming swamps competition at home

The Whitworth Pirates’ swimming teams won their only two home meets of the season against the Willamette Bearcats on Friday night and against the Linfield Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. Similar to last season’s meet, the Pirates swept the Bearcats with the Pirate women winning 10 of the 11 events, outscoring them 144-60. In addition, the men seized all 11 events instead of 10, blowing Willamette out of the water, 155-49. The performance the next day was more of the same against Linfield where the Pirate women won 136-69 and the men won 164-41.

“Racing the teammates and working hard these past couple of weeks [were key],” sophomore Logan Streit said.

The Pirate men took both relays on Friday night. Juniors Wes Walton, Kyle Wicks, Lucas Lin and senior Wes Tatum won the opening 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:35.98, while Walton, Wicks, Lin and senior Callum MacKintosh won the closing 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:27.80.

The Pirate women freshman Jane Holmes, sophomore Jackie Beal, junior Bridget Louis and senior Alisa Stang took the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.74. Freshman Makayla Barringer, Holmes, sophomore Jerusha Dressel, and Stang won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.68.

“We had a lot of girl freestylers in the sprint events that dropped a lot of time and that was an area we needed to improve,” Schadt said. “There were five or six women that all improved in that area from where they were a couple of weeks ago.”

Junior Malia Santos took the Bearcats’ only victory in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.83.

“We’ve been training really hard and I’ve been working on a few key things with my speed,” Walton said. “For my freestyle, I was working on the correct underwater distance to swim before I came up to the surface.”

The Pirates’ main goal for the season is to take home the top spots in each event in the conference meet, and the Pirates proved they were capable after this weekend, Streit said.

On Saturday afternoon, freshman Patrick Wilbur led a 1-2-3 finish for the Pirates in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.64, junior Kevin Moore led another one in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:55.11, and junior Trevor Case led the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:14.10.

“We all stepped up and tried to go 1,2,3 for all the events, [which] we did very well, so I hope we continue the momentum,” Streit said.

Walton, Tatum, Case and Wicks took the first 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:33.48, ending with the closing win of the 400-yard freestyle relay led by Wilber, Streit, Lin and Mackintosh.

The Pirate women won the opening 400-yard medley relay and all nine individual events.

“I really love relays, they’re my favorite parts of swim meets,” Dressel said. “When I dive into the water, I’m not just swimming for myself, but for the other three girls.”

Wildcats sophomore Rita Cohen, Elizabeth Fry, Erin Nelson and Nikki Overton took Linfield’s only victory in the closing 400-yard freestyle relay (3:46.18 – 3:46.64).

Eight different swimmers combined to win all nine individual events on both days. Streit took first place in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.49) and the 100-yard Freestyle (49.12) on Friday night, while Walton was the double winner for both the 200 yard individual medley (1:57.49) and the 200 yard backstroke (1:55.05) on Saturday afternoon.

Both Pirate teams improved to 2-0.

Whitworth Pirates travel to Pacific next Friday, Oct. 14 and Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Oct. 15 for their next competition.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

Swimming swamps competition at home

The Whitworth Pirates’ swimming teams won their only two home meets of the season against the Willamette Bearcats on Friday night and against the Linfield Wildcats on Saturday afternoon. Similar to last season’s meet, the Pirates swept the Bearcats with the Pirate women winning 10 of the 11 events, outscoring them 144-60. In addition, the men seized all 11 events instead of 10, blowing Willamette out of the water, 155-49. The performance the next day was more of the same against Linfield where the Pirate women won 136-69 and the men won 164-41.

“Racing the teammates and working hard these past couple of weeks [were key],” sophomore Logan Streit said.

The Pirate men took both relays on Friday night. Juniors Wes Walton, Kyle Wicks, Lucas Lin and senior Wes Tatum won the opening 200 yard medley relay with a time of 1:35.98, while Walton, Wicks, Lin and senior Callum MacKintosh won the closing 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:27.80.

The Pirate women freshman Jane Holmes, sophomore Jackie Beal, junior Bridget Louis and senior Alisa Stang took the 200 medley relay with a time of 1:53.74. Freshman Makayla Barringer, Holmes, sophomore Jerusha Dressel, and Stang won the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.68.

“We had a lot of girl freestylers in the sprint events that dropped a lot of time and that was an area we needed to improve,” Schadt said. “There were five or six women that all improved in that area from where they were a couple of weeks ago.”

Junior Malia Santos took the Bearcats’ only victory in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 25.83.

“We’ve been training really hard and I’ve been working on a few key things with my speed,” Walton said. “For my freestyle, I was working on the correct underwater distance to swim before I came up to the surface.”

The Pirates’ main goal for the season is to take home the top spots in each event in the conference meet, and the Pirates proved they were capable after this weekend, Streit said.

On Saturday afternoon, freshman Patrick Wilbur led a 1-2-3 finish for the Pirates in the 200-yard freestyle with a time of 1:48.64, junior Kevin Moore led another one in the 500-yard freestyle with a time of 4:55.11, and junior Trevor Case led the 200-yard breaststroke with a time of 2:14.10.

“We all stepped up and tried to go 1,2,3 for all the events, [which] we did very well, so I hope we continue the momentum,” Streit said.

Walton, Tatum, Case and Wicks took the first 400-yard medley relay with a time of 3:33.48, ending with the closing win of the 400-yard freestyle relay led by Wilber, Streit, Lin and Mackintosh.

The Pirate women won the opening 400-yard medley relay and all nine individual events.

“I really love relays, they’re my favorite parts of swim meets,” Dressel said. “When I dive into the water, I’m not just swimming for myself, but for the other three girls.”

Wildcats sophomore Rita Cohen, Elizabeth Fry, Erin Nelson and Nikki Overton took Linfield’s only victory in the closing 400-yard freestyle relay (3:46.18 – 3:46.64).

Eight different swimmers combined to win all nine individual events on both days. Streit took first place in the 200-yard freestyle (1:47.49) and the 100-yard Freestyle (49.12) on Friday night, while Walton was the double winner for both the 200 yard individual medley (1:57.49) and the 200 yard backstroke (1:55.05) on Saturday afternoon.

Both Pirate teams improved to 2-0.

Whitworth Pirates travel to Pacific next Friday, Oct. 14 and Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Oct. 15 for their next competition.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer

 

Offenses light up scoreboard in Pirate home victory

With alumni, students and parents packed into the Pine Bowl Saturday afternoon, the Pirates kicked off Homecoming weekend against the previously undefeated Willamette Bearcats with a high-scoring 61-45 victory. For Whitworth, the win was their first Homecoming win since 2008. Along with Homecoming, Whitworth celebrated its inductees into the Whitworth Heritage Hall of Fame who were recognized in a halftime ceremony.

Coming off of their first conference loss, the Pirates needed a win to keep their season on track.  Whitworth demonstrated a strong offensive and defensive presence throughout the game.

Willamette was the first team on the board, scoring a 67-yard rushing touchdown by running back Dylan Jones. Jones had a breakout game for Willamette, rushing for 350 yards, a little less than half of Willamette’s offensive attack.

Former starting running back sophomore Griffin Hare and starting senior wide receiver Anthony Fullman both did not suit up for the game due to injuries.

Whitworth’s defense continues to give up a large total of yards this season. The Pirates have allowed a little over 1,200 yards and 74 points in the past two games. Although the Pirates did give up big plays, they responded with an explosive effort on special teams and offense.

On the kickoff after the first Willamette touchdown, Whitworth freshman wide receiver Brett Moser received and returned a kick off for a touchdown putting the score at 7-7.

Whitworth started to get their high-tempo offense in motion late in the fourth quarter. With 6:26 left in the first, Whitworth was able to score three unanswered touchdowns due to takeaways by the defense, placing them in excellent field position for the scores.

Sophomore running back Duke DeGaetano had two rushing touchdowns from the goal line and senior quarterback Bryan Peterson threw one 9-yard touchdown pass to senior wide receiver Drew Clausen.

“We put that play in practice this week, and every time we ran it I was wide open, when we ran it in the game Drew’s pass gave me the opportunity to make a play on the ball,” senior quarterback Bryan Peterson said.

The first quarter was the most productive offensive quarter, placing the score at 28-14 going into the second quarter.

The second quarter featured a touchdown by senior wide receiver Connor Williams and two field goals by freshman place kicker Michael Zeng. Whitworth was able to maintain a 41-35 lead after giving up three touchdowns to Willamette going into the half.

Whitworth came out at halftime firing on all cylinders. After several big stops on defense, the Pirates held Willamette to only ten points in the second half.

“The defense really stepped it up in the second half,” sophomore outside linebacker Dalin McDonnell said. “We met up on the sidelines in between drives and concluded that the team that is going to win this game is the team that makes the most defensive stops, and we were that team for the rest of the game.”

From a pair of touchdowns by junior Connor Williams and one rushing touchdown by DeGaetano,  the game ended with a final score of 61-45 in the Pirates’ favor.

Williams led the team with 15 catches for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns. DeGaetano had the best game of his collegiate career after leading the team in rushing with 141 yards and three touchdowns.

“We had our best week of practice of the season going into this game,” Head Coach Rod Sandberg said. “We worked on how we could just get better, as a team, individually, and as coaching staff. We worked hard, had a lot of fun and it showed in the game today.”

Whitworth took their second NWC win of the season while Willamette suffered their first loss.

The 4-2 Pirates travel down to Oregon this Saturday, Oct. 18 to play against fifth-ranked and undefeated Linfield University for their fourth conference game of the season.

 

Joshua Omdal

Staff Writer

Pirates kick off NWC games with tie and win

The undefeated Pirates went into their sixth and seventh games of the season last weekend tying 1-1 against visiting Linfield Wildcats on Saturday afternoon and winning 1-0 against Willamette on Sunday. On Saturday afternoon, the Pirate sharpshooters went to work, targeting the Wildcats for an 11 to four shots on goal advantage.

Junior Sam Engle gave the Pirates a lead at the 61st minute of the game. Freshman Eric Espinoza kicked a long ball to senior Micheal Ramos, who shot the ball toward the net. The Wildcat goalie blocked it while returning the ball back to the field of play, where Engle came from behind and scored the ball on the left lower corner of the net.

With only 13 minutes left in the game, the Wildcats tied the score. One clear shot is all it took to give the opposing team a chance to score, Head Coach Morgan Cathey said.

On Sunday afternoon, the ball was played mainly in the Willamette territory for the first half, leading to the Pirates’ 24-8 shots advantage. Willamette, however, was not outdone, and went wide on the field better in the second half.

“In the first half, we were forcing balls into the players’ feet, but in the second half they pressed us a little higher,” Cathey said. “Their backline was very connected and we had a lot of space to pull our center forward wide.”

Willamette had different strengths than Linfield, Cathey said, so the Pirates had to play differently as a result.

Ramos received an assist from Engle in the 26th minute of play and made the first and only goal of the game. Ramos and senior Nathan Fosket said that they attribute the goal to the team’s hard work.

“We were starting to work better as a team, moving the ball a lot and we knew that against this team we could exploit the wide areas,” Ramos said. “Our highest players were getting wide more often and we ended up getting the ball in transition. I happened to be in one of those wide spaces and Engle played a good ball in and tucked it away.”

Whitworth travels to George Fox on Saturday, Sept. 27 to continue their conference play.

 

Jessica Razanadrakoto

Staff Writer