Men’s soccer beats Whitman and takes first in NWC

The men’s soccer team beat the Whitman Missionaries Saturday night in Walla Walla, 3-1, earning first place in the Northwest Conference for the second year in a row. The Pirates have now cemented their position in the NCAA tournament, clinching the ninth overall seed.

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The Pirates began Saturday’s game with an aggressive attack, which led to a goal by senior forward Karl Muelheims just five and a half minutes into the match. The lead was doubled by sophomore midfielder Eric Espinoza’s score in the 29th minute of the game.

Freshman forward Alfredo Ornelas scored the final goal for Whitworth in the second half, assisted by sophomore midfielder Jonah Snyder off of a corner kick. That gave them a 3-0 edge with 10 minutes left to play.

The team shot an efficient 60 percent on goal, scoring on three of five attempts. That helped them claim the victory, despite being outshot 8-5 on goal by the Missionaries, and 29-12 shots overall.

Junior goalkeeper Timmy Costa anchored the defense by providing seven saves. He was the top goalkeeper in the Conference with a 0.88 save percentage.

Muelheims’ goal was his 20th of the season, which not only leads the Northwest Conference, but also shatters a Pirates’ team record that stood for almost 30 years (19 goals scored in a season by John Gould, 1988-89 season).

Senior forward Sam Engle, who assisted Muelheims on his goal, finished second on the team in scoring, with eight goals.

“This is the best season of soccer that I’ve seen us play during my four years here,” Engle said. “The coaches we have and the guys we have, we’ve been able to play the best soccer in conference this season. We beat every team we’ve played pretty much, and I’m lucky to be a part of it.”

The Pirates entered the final game tied with the Pacific Lutheran Lutes for conference champion, setting up a winner-take-conference scenario. The Pirates officially earned the title by half-time, as the Lutes lost to the University of Puget Sound Loggers.

Regardless of that game’s result, Pirates head coach Morgan Cathey wanted the team to remain focused on Whitman, he said.

“We told the guys that they had to keep each other accountable and not talk about the NCAA tournament at all because we wanted them to stay completely focused on Whitman,” Cathey said.

This is the team’s second consecutive tournament appearance. Results and schedules will be posted on


Josiah VanWingerden

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Men’s soccer gains national attention for success

The men’s soccer team made two shutouts during family weekend with victories over the George Fox Bruins, 6-0 on Saturday and the Pacific University Boxers, 3-0 on Sunday afternoon. The Pirates now hold first place in the Northwest Conference and gained national attention for their success, with a fourth overall ranking in for the season. Whitworth gained national attention for their success. The Pirates dominated early in Saturday’s game against George Fox, with senior forward Karl Muelheims scoring three goals within an 11-minute span in the first half. This would be Muelheims’ first of two hat tricks of the weekend.

The Pirates’ 6 goal total against George Fox was their second highest score of the season, as they held a key advantage on possession, firing off 26 shots to the Bruins 8.

Additionally, the Pirates outshot the Bruins on goal 10-2, which helped the Pirates take control, as most of the game was played on the Bruins’ half of the field.

“George Fox was the only team we haven’t beaten so far,” senior defender Spencer Wolfe said. “So there’s a little extra motivation to be really prepared, really motivated, both physically and mentally to stay engaged the whole time.”

The Pirates’ midfielders also contributed goals, as junior Johnny Thayer, sophomore Eric Espinoza and freshman Tanner Stepp each scored to finish the team win for the Pirates.

Their momentum translated into Sunday afternoon’s game against the Pacific Boxers, as the Pirates got off to a fast-paced start, as Muelheims scored the first goal in the second minute of the game.

Rain was a big factor in the game. The Pirates were forced to play in wet conditions, but they did so with success, outshooting the Boxers 20-5, including a 4-2 advantage on goal.

"I love wet conditions, Muelheims said. “The ball moves faster for us, and the faster the ball moves, the faster the other team has to run to get into the right defensive positions and I don’t think the second goal I had today would’ve gone through on a dry day.”

Moreover, the Pirates once again took advantage of possession and earned a 3-1 edge in corner kicks, completing their 10th shutout of the season, allowing only one goal by inter-conference opponents for the year so far.

“One of the greatest things I’ve learned about myself this year is to really keep it simple,” head coach Morgan Cathey said. “Our guys have really grown the last two years to know exactly what we want for them in the game.”

After this weekend’s performances, Muelheims leads the Northwest Conference in goals, with 15. The Pirates men’s soccer program now ranks fourth overall in Division III Athletics.

The team travels to Western Washington for two key match-ups: Saturday at Pacific Lutheran, before facing the University of Puget Sound on Sunday.


Josiah VanWingerden

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Men’s soccer remains undefeated against Whitman

The men’s soccer team came off the field with a 2-0 win over the Whitman Missionaries on Saturday, Oct. 10. The Pirates (10-0-1) continue to lead the Northwest Conference and are ranked third in the most recent national Division III polls.

The Pirates came out eager to continue their successful season. The defense was able to maintain a strong and consistent line of stops as they worked to lead the Pirates to their eighth consecutive shutout of the season. The Pirates’ attacking players were able to make the opportunities created by the defense count by capitalizing with two goals.


“Our guys made it difficult for them to create the overall chance to score,” head coach Morgan Cathey said. “It was a great performance top to bottom for our guys.”

Senior forward Karl Muelheims gave the Pirates an early lead by scoring within the first 10 minutes of the first half. Muelheims fought through several defenders in the box before scoring from five-yards out into the lower left corner of the goal. This marks Muelheims’ ninth goal of the season, leading the conference.

“With a solid defense it allows for the forwards to be more free and create chances and get into advanced positions,” Muelheims said.

The Pirates finished out the half with 10 shots on goal and three saves by junior goalkeeper Timmy Costa.

“Starting at the back, our defense is very new this year for the most part,” Cathey said. “Besides Timmy, all of the players have just started playing at those positions this year. To have all of the players new to the system and new to each other, we are very proud on how we have handled every situation.”

The Pirates started the second half strong and determined to maintain their lead. Ju- nior forward Rylan Berriman scored 10 minutes into the half, putting the Pirates’ lead to 2-0 over the Missionaries. Berriman received the ball from the midfield and took a shot from the right side, resulting in a goal. Whitworth then finished the game with an additional six shots on goal.

“We played well today and got the win,” Berriman said. “Our focus on being excellent is really evident. We can’t wait to get some revenge on George Fox next Saturday.”

After playing the Bruins earlier this season, the Pirates tied 1-1 after two overtimes. This is the only mark on their season that Whitworth hasn’t come out with a win.

“We have hit the halfway point in conference games so now we go back and play all these teams again,” Cathey said. “Throughout this next round we are really working on being in the NCAA tournament and in order to do that we have to win the conference. We are in front right now and we just have to stay there. We want to make a big impact in the tournament this year.”

The Pirates will continue to play at home as they take on the George Fox Bruins next Saturday, Oct. 17.




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Soccer continues winning streak at home

The Whitworth Men’s soccer team remains undefeated coming out of this weekend’s double-header match-ups, which featured two key opponents within the Northwest Conference. The Pirates topped the University of Puget Sound Loggers Saturday afternoon, 2-0, before defeating the Pacific Lutheran Lutes on Sunday, 1-0. The Pirates’ ability to find holes in the defense, paired with efficient combination passing, gave them the opportunity to take a considerable edge with corner kicks, 4 to 3.


They were also able to take advantage of extra possessions as the Pirates totaled 14 shots to Loggers one.

Execution was also a major contributing factor to Whitworth’s success Saturday.

“It was great to see our guys go out and play really confident, knowing what they were going to do, but also, you know what they were going to do, but you still have to execute,” Pirates head coach Morgan Cathey said. “So our guys really executed well.”

Senior forward, Sam Engle scored the first goal of the game, 14 minutes into the first half. Senior midfielder Samual Jarret was credited with the assist.

“We were able to keep the ball on their half for pretty much the entire game,” Engle said. “So it worked out pretty well for our game plan.”

Last season’s loss against the Loggers served as motivation for the game on Saturday.

“I think it was a moral victory for our guys,” Cathey said, referring to the pair of games last year. “We tied there and we lost at home and so for us to be able to get out early and dominate the game and get rewarded by goals gives our guys a little bit more passion going into tomorrow.”

Sunday’s game was a hard-fought, defensive battle, against the Pacific Lutheran Lutes. The Pirates needed that extra passion to translate onto the field.

Engle scored the game’s only goal, with a well-executed assist from sophomore defender Aaron Yanagi just three minutes into the first half.

“It feels good to get two goals this week, especially PLU and UPS weekend,” Engle said. “It’s always a big weekend.”

Despite allowing the early score, the Lutes proved to be a challenge for the Pirates, playing at a much faster pace. They applied a dangerous amount of pressure that did not allow Whitworth to control the tempo or possession. Neither team was able to gain a considerable advantage all afternoon.

“It was hard for us to play our game against them, and they [pressed] us really well,” Cathey said of Pacific Lutheran. “And so I think it’s great because it’s going to challenge our team to get better at what we do, and that’s a really good thing.”

The Lutes out-shot the Pirates on goal, four to three, but only took 11 shot attempts, compared to the Pirates 14. Additionally, the Lutes challenged the Pirates’ side of the field much more than the Loggers.

“One of the pillars of our team is just grit, and just grinding games out,” Yanagi said. “And we knew it was going to be a tough finish, keep persevering and keep working hard, and we knew things would go our way.”

The Pirates now hold first in the Northwest Conference, with an 8-0 record overall, and a 4-0 conference record.

The men’s soccer team will compete this Friday in Oregon, to face the Pacific University Tigers.


Josiah VanWingerden 

Staff Writer

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