Whitman men battle Bethel to 2 OT draw

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ST. PAUL, Minn. - Whitman College rallied from an early two-goal deficit and finally settled for a 2-2 double-overtime draw with Bethel University here Saturday afternoon.

The Missionaries nearly pulled out the victory in the second overtime session when a free kick by junior Leland Matthaeus hit the post and then bounced away before his teammates could put back the rebound.

Bethel surged in front with two unassisted goals in the first half, the second one coming in the 37th minute of play.

Whitman coach Mike Washington attributed both goals to what he called "stupid mistakes on our part. This is a game we should have won in regulation, had we not conceded those two goals."

The Missionaries struck back a few minutes after Bethel's second goal. Sophomore Jesse Mirman made a run up the middle and bounced a shot past the keeper from about 24 yards out.

It was Mirman's first college goal.

Early in the second half, Whitman knotted the game at 2-2 when Matthaeus broke down the right side and sent a cross back to his left. After the Bethel keeper deflected the ball, senior Sam Freedman was there to knock it home from five yards out.

Whitman outshot Bethel 5-3 for the rest of the half, forcing keeper Leif Sundberg to make three of his nine saves.

"After giving up the two early goals, we dominated much of the rest of the game," Washington said. "We barraged their keeper at times, but he made some saves and kept them in the game."

Three minutes into the second overtime, Whitman junior Jed Jacobson was fouled, setting the stage for the Matthaeus free kick that hit the post and bounced free in front of the goal."At least one of our guys nearly got a foot on the ball before it was cleared," Washington said.

Whitman finished with a 16-11 edge in shots, which included an 11-4 disparity in shots on goal. The Missionaries also had an 11-4 edge in corner kicks.

"We possessed the ball most of the time, and we did a good job attacking," Washington said. He credited Mirman, senior Andrew Clark and sophomore Junpei Tsuji with controlling the midfield.

Sophomore defender Cooper Schumacher was "phenomenal again in the back," he added.

Freshman Joe Virden took four shots for Whitman, putting three on frame. Matthaeus, Freedman and freshman Bill Landefeld all had two shots for the Missionaries.

The draw left Bethel with a 4-0-1 early season record. Whitman is 0-1-2.

Whitman starts Northwest Conference play next weekend, traveling to western Oregon for games at George Fox on Saturday and Pacific on Sunday.

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