Whitworth Pulls Victory From the Jaws of Defeat at Whitman
WALLA WALLA, Wash. - In the course of a special or championship-type season, often a team will have to figure out a way to win a game or a match it has no business winning. Whitworth did that on Saturday with a 2-1 victory at Whitman in a Northwest Conference men's soccer contest after scoring both goals with less than three minutes to play.
The Pirates (8-2-1 overall, 6-1 NWC) remain tied with Pacific Lutheran for first place in the NWC standings. The Missionaries drop to 4-5-2, 4-3 with the heartbreaking loss.
Whitworth won the match despite statistical dominance by Whitman. The Missionaries outshot the Pirates 17-10, including an 8-3 edge in shots on goal. But Whitworth goalkeeper Brian Sherpe came up with six saves in the match, three in each half.
Whitman took a 1-0 lead in the 65th minute when Leland Matthaeus scored his first goal of the season by lofting a ball over Sherpe into the right side of the net. Brian Percival had the assist on the play.
The Pirates were desperately attacking to create an equalizing goal and drew a corner kick with three minutes to play. Dion Coxe elevated to head the ball toward the goal, but the ball got mixed among a group of players from both teams just in front of the goal mouth. Nic Shaw capitalized for Whitworth by scoring his first goal of the season at the 87:35 mark.
The Pirates quickly gained possession back and Robby Ubben found Sam Selisch with a pass across the Whitman box. Selisch was fouled from behind, drawing a penalty kick, which Cameron Bushey converted at 88:15 for his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
It is the second match in a row that Bushey converted a penalty kick to give the Pirates a win. Last Sunday his goal was the difference in a 1-0 win at Linfield.
The Pirates' drive for a championship could come down to the results of next weekend's matches. Whitworth will play at Pacific Lutheran (9-2, 6-1) next Saturday, followed by a match at Puget Sound (6-4, 5-2) on Sunday.