SALEM, Ore. - The Whitworth men's soccer team battled to a 0-0 tie at Willamette on Saturday afternoon in a matchup of teams in close contention for the Northwest Conference title.
Whitworth (13-1-3, 8-1-3 NWC), entered Saturday's contest two points back of Willamette (12-4-2, 9-1-2) in the conference standings. Both teams entered Saturday ranked in the most recent NSCAA West Poll, with the Pirates ranked at No. 3 in the region and the Bearcats ranked at No. 9.
Following the draw, Whitworth dropped to third place (27 points) in the NWC standings, just behind first-place Willamette (29 points) and second-place Puget Sound (28 points). Each team has two regular season conference matches remaining.
It appeared the Pirates may have broken the tie in the closing seconds but the ball did not go into the goal before time expired. Though not officially recorded, a Whitworth player was also ruled offside on the play, and the goal would not have counted even if it had been scored in time.
After Willamette goalkeeper Braydon Calder saved a shot by Aaron Yanagi, Samual Jarrett fired a shot from just inside the box that found the back of the net. But the shot came two seconds late as time had expired and the offside flag was raised.
Whitworth was held scoreless for only the second time this season. The Pirates outshot the Bearcats 20-9, including a 9-1 edge in shots on goal.
Calder made nine saves, including several impressive stops to keep the Pirates off the scoreboard. He made four second-half saves and two in the second period of extra time.
Timmy Costa collected one save for the Pirates.
Willamette committed 28 fouls in the physical match while the Pirates committed 19 fouls. A total of seven yellow cards were given in the match, with four issued to Willamette and three to Whitworth.
Whitworth returns to action Sunday at Linfield as they continue to battle for the NWC title. The Wildcats tied Whitworth earlier this season, 1-1, in the first NWC match of the season for both teams. The Pirates close out the regular-season schedule on Nov. 8 at Whitman.