by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – After an up-and-down week competing against NAIA opponents, the Whitworth Pirates square off against two familiar foes to begin Northwest Conference play.
The Bucs open their NWC season against George Fox with a 7:30 p.m. match on Friday, Sept. 14. After a day off, Whitworth squares off with Pacific (Ore.) at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16.
Live statistics and video links will be available on the Whitworth men's soccer schedule.
The Pirates: In three matches against NAIA opponents, Whitworth came away with every possible result. The Bucs opened the week with a scoreless tie against Northwest (Wash.) before trouncing Walla Walla and falling to Carroll College.
Drew Williams may have put together the Pirates' best performance during the week. The junior scored twice in 52 seconds to lead Whitworth in 5-1 win over Walla Walla. Daniel Alvarez, Drew Wilson, and Christian Haas all scored against the Wolves as well. Whitworth was unable to maintain their offensive momentum against Carroll College, losing 1-0 in their final match of the non-conference season.
Saving the Day: Whitworth's trio of goalkeepers have been on fire during the team's first two weeks of the season. Jimmy Choi, Alex Pells, and Jesus Nunez have combined for 6.33 saves per game, best in the Northwest Conference. Choi, Pells, and Nunez are also third in the NWC in save percentage with an .809 mark.
The Bruins: George Fox (1-3) opened its season with a 4-1 win over Multnomah University, but followed the victory with three straight losses as they enter the NWC season. The Bruins and Bucs have one common opponent, Northwest, who beat George Fox by 1-0 margin and tied Whitworth. Moises Manon leads the team scoring with two goals on the year, and no Bruin has recorded an assist through four matches. In 2017, the Pirates swept the Bruins, winning 4-0 at home and 2-1 on the road.
The Boxers: Pacific (1-2-1) enters the first weekend of Northwest Conference play off a split weekend at home. Last weekend, the Boxers defeated Wisconsin Lutheran 3-0 before falling to Warner Pacific by the same score. Goalkeeper Brock Jones leads Pacific with a 0.93 goals against average, fourth best in the NWC. Offensively, the Boxers feature a balanced attack early in the season – four student-athletes have scored one goal. The Pirates and Boxers split the two matches they played in 2017. Pacific defeated Whitworth 3-2 in Spokane, and the Pirates returned the favor with a 2-1 win in Forest Grove.
Looking Ahead: The Bucs return home to take on Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran on Saturday, Sept. 22 and Sunday, Sept. 23.
The Coach: Morgan Cathey continues a long line of highly successful men's soccer coaches at Whitworth University that began with Einar Thorarinsson (1986-1994), who followed his time at Whitworth with a long stint as the head coach at Gonzaga University, and continued with Sean Bushey (1996-2012), who now coaches in Minnesota.
Cathey enters his sixth season as men's soccer coach at Whitworth in the fall of 2018 and has led the Pirates to a record of 67-19-11 through his first five seasons. He guided the Pirates to three consecutive Northwest Conference titles from 2014-16 and made three straight appearances in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Cathey's record against NWC opponents is 50-13-10 over his first five seasons.