by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates and Puget Sound Loggers battled to a physical 1-1 draw in the Pirates' Northwest Conference home opener.
Saturday afternoon's match featured 38 fouls between the two teams. The Loggers (3-3-1, 1-1-1 NWC) finished with 20 offenses while the Pirates (3-4-2, 2-0-1 NWC) earned a whistle 18 times. Officials handed out four yellow cards, two to each team.
Puget Sound dominated the offense for the match's first ten minutes. The Loggers took four shots during that time and held the ball within Whitworth's half of the field. Jesus Nunez kept Puget Sound out of the net during the match's early moments and finished with three saves on the day.
The Loggers opened the scoring in the 40th minute. Cale Spence charged to the top of the 18-yard box before sending a high pass to Luke Murdock at the far post. The tall midfielder headed home the pass to give Puget Sound the lead.
After heading into halftime with a 1-0 deficit, the Pirates knotted the match within the first 30 seconds of the second half. Drew Williams lofted a pass over the Logger defense to Chase Reidt, who volleyed home his first goal as a Buc.
"We struggled in the beginning of the game to move the ball efficiently, and I was really proud of our guys' effort in the second half to get back in the game," said head coach Morgan Cathey.
Reidt continued to be aggressive after his goal and, though he wasn't able to come away with another, the junior gave the Pirates multiple opportunities to score.
One of those opportunities came in a near goal with five minutes remaining. Reidt took in a long pass, dribbled to the center of the penalty area, and fired a shot towards the goal. Despite having fallen down during the play, Wren Norwood reached up from the ground to make the save, preserving the match for the Loggers.
In a microcosm of the match as a whole, the two teams traded blows in overtime, with Puget Sound maintaining possession in the first period and the Pirates controlling the second.
Whitworth's best opportunity in overtime came on a 23-yard free kick from Williams, which was saved by Norwood. Two rebound chances were also blocked by Puget Sound defenders. The Loggers' best chance was Dane Schatz's 96th minute shot, which the Bucs blocked.
The Pirates finish up the weekend homestand Sunday afternoon against Pacific Lutheran. The Bucs and Lutes are scheduled to kick off at 2:30 p.m. on the Whitworth Soccer Field.