SPOKANE, Wash. – Andrew French scored twice to lead Whitworth to a dominating 6-0 win over visiting George Fox in a Northwest Conference men's soccer match on Saturday afternoon.
The 9th-ranked Pirates improved to 12-0-3 overall and 9-0-2 (29 points) in the NWC with the win in their final regular season home match. Paired with Pacific Lutheran's 3-1 loss to Linfield, Whitworth has moved within one more win of clinching the NWC championship.
"Today's win was a fitting result for our seniors as they have worked very hard during their four years in the program," said Whitworth head coach Sean Bushey. "Our play today epitomized their attitude, effort and standard."
After recognizing the 2012-13 senior class prior to the start of the match, the Pirates set the tone early when Balin Larson scored after a scramble in front of the George Fox goal in the ninth minute. It was the Whitworth defender's first goal of the season.
Five minutes later Samuel Engle sent a pass forward for Robby Ubben, who beat GFU keeper Elliot Davis to the ball and chipped it over Davis and into the net for a 2-0 Pirate advantage. It was Ubben's team-leading sixth goal of the season.
French went to work early in the second half. He was set up on his first goal by a long pass from Kekoa Mountcastle, which was flicked on by Sam Selisch. French then dribbled around Davis and shot into an open net for his third goal of the season in the 49th minute.
French's next goal was again assisted by Selisch in the 53rd minute, a breakaway shot from the right side of the penalty area.
"French had a great weekend," Bushey said. "His two goals in the second half were important in re-affirming control of the game."
At that point both teams began clearing the bench and the Bruins began picking up yellow cards. GFU was assessed three in the final 25 minutes, including two to Taran Girard which left the Bruins a man down over the final 16 minutes of the match.
The Pirates finished with a 29-5 edge in shots, including a 16-1 advantage in shots on-goal. Davis made six saves for the Bruins, while back up keeper Arlo Powell made four stops.
Whitworth will play at Willamette and Linfield next weekend. A win in either of those matches will clinch the 2012 NWC crown for the Pirates.
"We look forward to the matches next weekend, knowing that we are in for a challenge with both opponents," Bushey said.