WALLA WALLA - After shutting out its first two opponents earlier this month, the Whitman College men's soccer team completed its two-week tour of England with two more victories and a draw.
The Missionaries won their third straight game on Aug. 8 with a 6-1 romp over a youth team representing the Forest Green Football Club.
Senior Conner Bottomly and sophomore keeper Devin Kuh made an unlikely connection on Whitman's first goal. After Kuh's long clearance bounced over a last Forest Green defender, Bottomly ran onto the ball and knocked it past the opposing keeper.
Shortly thereafter, a Whitman defensive lapse allowed a Forest Green attacker to bend a shot around an advancing Kuh.
"After a rough start in the first half, we regained the possession-style game we had played against our first two opponents, and we started to dominate," Whitman coach and English native Mike Washington said. "It was a great second half of play for us."
Bottomly, a team captain, had two of Whitman's five second-half goals to finish with a hat trick. Sophomore Leland Matthaeus assisted on one of the two goals.
Senior defender and captain Cooper Crosby also scored in the second half, blasting home a corner kick from senior defender John Fleming. Other Missionary goals came courtesy of sophomore Andrew Clark (assist junior Nathan Ord) and junior Sam Freedman (assist sophomore Jed Jacobson).
Playing the next day against Caldicot Town, Whitman escaped with a 2-1 triumph over what Washington called a "much older, more physical men's team."
After Bottomly booted an unassisted goal in the first half, Whitman juggled its lineup when senior midfielder Beau Morton went down with an injury. Kuh handed over the keeper duties to senior Tim Shu and played the rest of the way in Morton's stead.
Bottomly tallied a second unassisted goal in the second half for a 2-0 Whitman lead before Caldicot responded with its only goal late in the contest.
Whitman completed its five-game schedule on Wednesday of that week with a 1-1 tie against Weston-Super-Mare.
"We played some great soccer (to get the tie)," Washington said. "Weston was very organized a good passing side. This was our toughest game and it finished a very busy week."
Bottomly again did the scoring for the Missionaries, although it was a pinpoint pass from Jacobson to the center of the box that allowed Bottomly to redirect the ball past the keeper.
After Weston evened the count at 1-1 prior to intermission, neither team scored in the second half. Sophomore Michael Bathurst went the distance in goal for the Missionaries.
Whitman spent its last few days in England training and visiting the Manchester United grounds.
"It was a great trip overall," Washington said. "Our three keepers conceded just one goal each."
This month's trip marked the third time since 2002 that Washington has arranged a late summer trip to England for his Whitman team.
With a large freshman class joining the ranks, Whitman starts its fall preseason workouts later this month. The Missionaries open their season on Sept. 3, with the first of three road games.
Whitman's first home game is Sept. 11 against Warner Pacific.