Missionary men tally first victory

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McMINNVILLE, Ore. — In their biggest offensive explosion of the season, the Whitman College men’s soccer team came from behind to beat Linfield, 3-2, in a Northwest Conference match here Sunday, claiming its first victory of the 2013 season.

The Missionaries got goals from Alex Barsher, Junpei Tsuji and Cooper Schumacher, as they battled back from a 2-1 deficit.

The win puts the Missionaries’ record at 1-0-1 in conference and 1-4-2 overall.

After a preseason which saw Whitman play five matches on the road, the Missionaries, who have yet to play at home, found their offensive game and sit in a tie for third with Willamette in the NWC standings, a half-game back of Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound.

“I am very pleased with the way our players approached this difficult road trip,” said Whitman head coach Mike Washington.

Tsuji got the scoring going when he notched his second goal of the season on a free kick from 35 yards away. Much like his other goal, Tsuji lofted the ball perfectly beyond the goalkeeper’s reach and into the upper corner of the net. The goal came at the 20:26 mark and served as the only scoring in the first half.

The second half saw plenty of offense, as Linfield seized the momentum instantly, scoring a goal on a hard blast from Brian DeGrandmont.

Five minutes later, the Wildcats took the lead for the first time on a corner kick that was then kicked into the net from the right side of the goal line by Harper Taylor.

Down 2-1, the Missionaries battled back.

Barsher scored his third goal of the season when he dribbled past a couple of defenders and fired a shot across his body, past the oncoming goalkeeper and into the corner of the net, tying the match at 2-2.

The winning goal came 12 minutes later on a free kick by Tsuji that was redirected by the foot of Schumacher into the goal.

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