Missionary soccer 1-1 after Friday's opener

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SALEM - Whitman's men's soccer came back from a Friday loss for a 2-0 victory against Minnesota's Bethen University Saturday.

With senior keeper Tim Shu posting the shutout, making two saves against seven Bethel shots, Whitman evened its early season record at 1-1.

Coming on the heels of yesterday's loss to UC-Santa Cruz, Whitman played a "much better game today," coach Mike Washington said. "Yesterday was definitely an issue of not being very well organized, so we addressed that and the boys responded in a good way. This was a good solid performance."

Whitman got the jump on Bethel midway through the first half, when sophomore Leland Matthaeus scored in the 35th minute with an assist from senior Beau Morton.

Matthaeus swept across the field, splitting the defense before lofting the ball over Bethel's diving keeper.

"We put them under a lot of pressure in the first half," Washington said. "They came at us with numbers in the second half, trying to get the equalizer, but we handled it and looked confident doing it."

Senior Conner Bottomly's goal came with just 29 seconds left on the clock. Freshman Junpei Tsuji assisted on the goal, which came from five yards out.

Bottomly and Matthaeus combined to take four of Whitman's seven shots. Junior Jordan Thomas and sophomores Jed Jacobson and Andrew Clark also got off shots for the Missionaries.

Matthaeus, who missed most of his freshman season due to injury, has one goal and one assist in Whitman's first two games.

Whitman plays Colorodo College at noon today in Salem.

Whitman lost its season-opener, 4-1, to University of California-Santa Cruz Friday in Spokane.

UC-Santa Cruz, an NCAA Division III independent, got off to a torrid start, knocking home its first goal before the game was two minutes old on a give and go score by CJ Villavos.

The Banana Slugs led 2-0 at halftime and finished the game with goals from four players.

The Slugs squashed any hope for a late Whitman rally when senior All-American Matt Fondy capped a big day with his third goal in two games to make it a three-score Santa Cruz spread in the 77th minute. Fondy took five of his team's 11 shots, and he had assists on the first two Santa Cruz goals.

"Santa Cruz is a good team," Whitman coach Mike Washington said. "They are a little more experienced, and a little more physical and stronger, than we are. But we're still disappointed that we lost because we didn't play as well as we could."

The Santa Cruz offense was on target most of the afternoon, putting seven of its 11 shots on goal.

Whitman generated seven shots, two of them on goal. Matthaeus and senior Conner Bottomly uncorked two shots apiece for the Missionaries.

"It's not as if they outshot us by a lot or dominated us," Washington said. "They just did a better job of finishing their chances. We had opportunities at different times throughout the game."

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