by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
PARKLAND, Wash – Whitworth men's soccer battled to a 1-1 draw with the Pacific Lutheran Lutes on Saturday afternoon.
The tie moves the Pirates record to 3-4-1 overall and 1-1-1 in the Northwest Conference. The Lutes are now 3-3-2 overall and 1-1-1 in conference.
The Pirates were the aggressors from the start, racking up ten shots, four on goal, in the match's first 25 minutes. Comparatively, the Lutes managed just two shots in the same time frame, though both were on goal.
Eventually, Whitworth's aggressiveness paid off. Blake Hepler slid a pass across the penalty box to Micah Weller, who put the Pirates ahead 1-0 in the 30th minute. The goal was Weller's fourth of the season and sent the Pirates into halftime with the lead.
After a first half in which Whitworth dominated possession, Pacific Lutheran came right back at the Pirates in the second half. The Lutes took five shots, two on goal, in the first thirty minutes of the half as they attempted to equalize.
The second half effort would pay off. Northwest Conference goals leader Eddie Na scored a 62nd minute goal to make the match 1-1.
After Na's goal tied the match, the final minutes of regulation featured wide-open soccer where the two teams charged back-and-forth to try and create a match winner. Neither team was able to score though, so the Pirates headed to overtime for the third time this season.
Overtime would continue the same, wide-open play. Whitworth managed several chances on crosses and corner kicks, but couldn't score the match-deciding goal, ending the match in a 1-1 tie. Jesus Nunez proved to be the Pirates' saving grace, finishing with four saves and snuffing out several Pacific Lutheran scoring opportunities.
In the end, Whitworth finished with a 16-15 advantage in shots and a 9-5 edge in shots on goal. The Pirates took five corner kicks to the Lutes' three.
Next up, Whitworth takes on Puget Sound in Tacoma. Tomorrow's match is scheduled to begin at Noon.