Whitman men enjoy weekend sweep

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WALLA WALLA — The Whitman College men’s soccer team completed a weekend sweep of Northwest Conference foes Sunday afternoon with a 2-0 victory over Pacific University on the Missionaries’ campus.

Sunday’s win was preceded by a 2-0 triumph over George Fox University, also on the Whitman pitch.

The sweep boosted Whitman’s NWC record to 4-5-2 and its overall mark to 6-8-3.

Leland Matthaeus, who scored Whitman’s first goal and assisted on the second on Saturday, continued his strong play with a first-goal assist on Sunday. Junpei Tsuji scored the goal with a scissor kick at 17:21 of the first half.

Joe Virdon tallied Whitman’s second goal unassisted at 27:25 of the first half. Although Virdon wasn’t credited with an assist on Saturday, his shot hit the crossbar and came directly to Matthaeus, who tapped in the score from point-blank range.

Pacific, which was outshot 12-4 in the first half, held an 8-3 advantage in the second half but could not penetrate the Whitman goal. The Whits’ Michael Bathurst and Pacific’s Michael Summers were each credited with four saves in goal.

Saturday’s victory was Whitman’s first since a 2-1 overtime win over University of Puget Sound on Sept. 29. In four ensuing matches, the Missionaries were 0-2-2, a string of four games in which they failed to score while taking their opponents to double-overtime twice and to single-overtime in a third match.

So it was easy to understand why veteran head coach Mike Washington breathed a sigh of relief when Matthaeus got the Missionaries on the scoreboard with his tap-in goal.

“That was nice for him,” Washington said of Matthaeus, who broke the scoreless deadlock at the 48:18 mark and then assisted sophomore forward Bill Landefeld 29 minutes later for what proved to be an unneeded insurance goal.

Whitman outshot George Fox 28-6, including a 19-2 advantage in a first half that for 45 minutes extended the Missionaries’ scoring frustration. Bruins goalie Elliott Davis deflected 11 Whitman shots on goal on the day while the Bathurst stopped all three of George Fox’s on-goal attempts.

Whitman is back on the road this weekend with matches at Linfield Saturday and at Willamette on Sunday.

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