|Pajimola celebrates opener, Ubben buried after winner and PLU enjoys short-lived lead | Photos: Gerald Barnhart|
Pacific Lutheran University 2 :: 3 Whitworth University – MEN
It was a daunting task for the Pirates coming into the weekend, facing both of the conference’s perfect teams back-to-back in 24 hours with PLU and the University of Puget Sound coming to town. On Saturday, Whitworth survived the first half of the test with thrilling moments throughout the contest as Sam Engle kicked things off with a bicycle kick goal 11 minutes in and Robby Ubben finishing things off with the winner with six minutes left.
|Giancarlo Santoro, PLU|
Plenty happened Saturday afternoon, beginning with a spectacular strike in the 11th minute from freshman Sam Engle, who sent a bicycle kick goal inside the right post. Colin Shockman delivered the ball from the right flank, finding Mike Chavez on the far side of the goal for a header back toward Engle for the amazing finish.
Midfielder Giancarlo Santoro propelled the Lutes to the lead in a back-and-forth contest. He found Emmanuel Amarh in the 24th minute inside the box, where he put his shot slightly from the right side inside the far post out of Kyle Novak’s reach.
|Emmanuel Amarh, PLU|
Defender Will Wren, who has been the star on both ends of the field in recent matches, made a fantastic run to set up the equalizer for Whitworth. After receiving the ball deep in the left corner he drove into the box along the endline, beating a defender before sending a low ball across the six to Sam Selisch, who took a touch and slipped it inside the near post.
|Robby Ubben, Whitworth|
The visitors did not give up however, and with three minutes left continued to provide drama. Among the chances was a shot from Brendan Cohen that narrowly missed the upper left corner.
“The PLU game’s always that way somehow,” said Bushey about the wild affair. “Even last year’s 1-0 games were back-and-forth. We’ve had 4-3 games and 3-2… there’s always something where the game gets open.
“It makes it fun for the fans, stressful for the coaches,” added Bushey, who was pleased they finally scored more than one goal in a game.
Around the Conference: Whitworth is now the only unbeaten team in the conference as Sunday’s opponent, 21st-ranked UPS, fell in overtime at Whitman, 2-1... Linfield blanked George Fox, 2-0, and Willamette downed Pacific, 3-2.
Pacific Lutheran University 2 :: 2 Whitworth University – WOMEN
With the Lutes looking for their first conference victory after starting the season with three draws in the first four matches, it was not an easy outing for the Pirates Saturday.
|Benner (L) ended record shutout streak|
Whitworth would finally break the stalemate in the 24th minute of the match when Tiara Pajimola (Spokane, WA), who had recently shifted inside from the right flank, ran onto a long ball from Kelsey Griswold at the edge of the box between two defenders to slice it past the helpless keeper from 14 yards.
The excitement factor kicked up a notch in the second half. Eleven minutes into the second half a PLU ball into the box was headed by defender Jamie Hegg (Spokane, WA), but the ball went straight up and bounced down right in front of them just off the left post, but no one from the visitors was able to put it away.
The visitors finally found some fortune in the 79th minute when Samantha Benner struck a floating ball 25 yards out that beat Ashley Rothrock (Spokane, WA) for the goal allowed in conference play by the Pirates, snapping a school-record shutout streak of 528 minutes.
|Grant (12) celebrates Whitworth's second goal|
With 90 seconds left, however, consistent pressure from the visitors resulted in a successful corner in which Blake Warner found the head of Mimi Granlund.
Both teams had chances in overtime, but it looked like the hosts were going to find the winner in the final seconds of the match when a cross into the box created a scramble in which the ball went off the post and a defender’s hand in a call that was overlooked or unseen.
Around the Conference: Whitworth faces the only other unbeaten in the conference, Puget Sound (5-0-1), Sunday in the second match of the weekend. UPS is coming off of a 2-0 victory at Whitman… Lewis & Clark won at home, 2-0, against Pacific University while Linfield and host Willamette played to a scoreless draw.