SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth men's soccer team takes a five-match winning streak into this weekend's home games against Willamette (Saturday) and Linfield (Sunday). Both contests are scheduled to kick off at 1:30 pm as the second halves of doubleheaders with the Whitworth women.
Whitworth is 10-3-2 overall and 8-2-1 in the NWC following last weekend's road victories at Pacific (Ore.) and George Fox.
This week's live links:
Time change: Because of the switch back to Standard Time this weekend, the beginning of both matches will move up an hour to 1:30 pm.
The Pirates: Whitworth controlled both sides of the field on Friday night at Pacific University, but did not find the net until Sam Selisch scored in the 55th minute from an assist by David Starkovich. Selisch added an insurance goal in the 72nd minute from an assist by Will Wren. It was the seventh and eighth goals of the season for Selisch. Whitworth outshot Pacific 29-4 and Timmy Costa only had to make two saves to post his second career shutout.
The Pirates had no trouble finding the net in Sunday's 6-0 victory at George Fox. In fact Rylan Berriman found the net quicker than any Whitworth player in history, scoring only 26 seconds into the match off of a perfect through pass from Robby Ubben. Spencer Wolfe, Matt Bray, Balin Larson and Karl Muelheims added first half goals as Whitworth took a 5-0 lead at the break. Will Wren scored the second half goal for Whitworth.
Selisch Honored: Sam Selisch was honored as the NWC Offensive Player of the Week after he scored both goals in Whitworth's win at Pacific.
The Long Road Home: Whitworth did not play an official match at home until September 28th against George Fox. Whitworth had to play nine of its first 11 matches away from home.
Finding Balance: Balanced scoring has been a key attribute of good Pirate teams over the last several years. And 2013 is no different. Thirteen different players have scored the 36 Whitworth goals this season, with Sam Selisch (8) and Zach Waldher (4) holding the team lead.
Looking Up: Whitworth is now only looking up at Puget Sound in the NWC standings. The Loggers (10-1 in the NWC, 30 points) still have a fairly healthy lead over the Pirates (8-2-1, 25 points). But the two teams have separated themselves from the field. Third place Whitman (6-4-1) has 19 points.
The Opponents: Willamette is 9-5-2 overall and 5-4-2 in the NWC this season. The Bearcats defeated Pacific Lutheran 3-0 last Saturday before losing 1-0 to Puget Sound. Both matches were at home. Sophomore Yazan Hismeh has nine goals and six assists this year, while senior Trevor Jensen has added seven goals and six assists. Willamette pulled out a 3-2 win over Whitworth in double overtime on September 22nd. Sam Selisch and Andrew Flint scored to give the Pirates a 2-1 lead. But the Bearcats were able to rally for the win after the Bucs had to play the final 60 minutes with ten players due to a red card.
Linfield is 8-6-1 overall and 5-5-1 in the NWC heading into Saturday's match at Whitman. The Wildcats dropped from third place to sixth place in the conference standings after losing at home to Puget Sound (4-0) and Pacific Lutheran (3-0) last weekend. Freshmen Brian DeGrandmont leads his squad with eight goals and two assists. Fellow freshman Nicholas Autencio has five goals this year. Whitworth defeated Linfield 1-0 in McMinnville, Oregon on September 21st behind Sam Engle's goal in the 53rd minute.
Head Coach Morgan Cathey: Morgan Cathey is in his first season leading the Pirates. He came to Whitworth from Cal State Stanislaus, where he spent two seasons as the top assistant coach. Cathey was a standout goalkeeper at Azusa Pacific during his playing days and he went on to play and coach professionally in South Africa before returning to the U.S and landing at CSU Stanislaus.
Coming up: Whitworth will host Whitman on November 9th in the regular season finale.