Whitman College men turn tables on Puget Sound soccer team

Whitman's men's soccer team hands the Loggers a 3-0 loss a day after falling to Pacific Lutheran by the same score.

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. - One day after losing 3-0 to Pacific Lutheran, the Whitman College men's soccer team turned the tables on Puget Sound with a 3-0 triumph Sunday afternoon at the Whitman Athletic Fields.

Whitman evened its NWC record at 2-2 and raised its season mark to 4-5-1.

Puget Sound, absorbing its first conference loss of the young season, dropped to 2-1-1 and 5-2-3.

The Missionaries struck for two goals in a two-minute span midway through the first half to take charge.

Freshman Michael Axelson triggered the first scoring strike, sending a ball from near midfield to the top of the 18-yard box. Sophomore Leland Matthaeus took the ball in stride and whizzed it past the keeper for his third goal of season.

Little more than two minutes later, Matthaeus hurled a throw-in from the right sideline toward the top of the box. Senior Conner Bottomly made the run from midfield to flick the ball into the right corner of the netting.

Bottomly's nifty finish, his third goal of the season, gave the Missionaries a 2-0 lead at the break.

Sophomore Jed Jacobson gave Whitman some breathing room eight minutes into the second half with his second goal of the season, upping the home team's lead to 3-0.

Junior Brian Percival started that last scoring sequence by moving up the left side and clanging a 25-yarder off the far post. A rebound shot by junior Nathan Ord was blocked, but Jacobson was there for the finish.

Senior keeper Tim Shu made four saves - two in each half - to collect his third shutout in four starts. The only goal Shu has surrendered this season came in a non-conference game when a long clearance punt bounced over Whitman's back line.

On Sunday, senior defender Cooper Crosby helped preserve Shu's latest shutout when he headed away Kyle Benson's shot with about 20 minutes left to play in the second half.

The Loggers revved up their attack in the final nine minutes, getting off four shots that forced Shu to make his two second-have saves. Puget Sound's Andrew White had one of those final attempts, knocking a ball off the right post with less than two minutes on the clock.

Axelson nearly gave Whitman a four-goal cushion in the 77th minute when his header was pushed just wide by Puget Sound keeper Chris McDonald.

Despite Puget Sound's late flurry, Whitman outshot the Loggers 17-10, which included a 6-5 edge in shots on goal. Whitman also worked its way to a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.

Bottomly led the Whitman offense with four shots. Ord and Percival added three apiece while Axelson took two shots.

Benson paced the Puget Sound attack with three shots, two on goal. The Loggers also got two shots each from White, Carson Swope and Vincent McCluskey.

Puget Sound stays home next Saturday and Sunday to host Pacific and George Fox. Whitman hits the road for games at Linfield and Willamette.

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