by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – A deflected free kick fell to Joe Thompson's feet and he buried a match-winning goal to give the Whitman Blues a 2-1 overtime victory over the Whitworth Pirates on Saturday afternoon.
Thompson's goal gave the Blues (6-5, 5-2) their second straight overtime win on the Whitworth Soccer Field. The loss was the Pirates' (4-7-1, 3-3-1) third in a row.
Whitman dominated the match's first half, scoring its lone goal and forcing Jesus Nunez to make five saves. After 20 minutes of slow play, Oscar Harding started the Blues' attack with a shot on goal, which Nunez saved.
Austin Betschart was the first Blue to beat Nunez. After Jacob Barshar came away with the ball in a chaotic moment, he found Betschart midway through the Pirates' half. With no Whitworth defenders between him and Nunez, Betschart dribbled towards the goal and beat the Pirate keeper on the ground.
Whitworth battled back in the second half. Led by Ethan Kem's work in the midfield, the Bucs put two shots on goal before finding an equalizer. Kem did the damage, loosing a curling free kick over the Blue's wall and just past the outstretched arms of Whitman goalkeeper Matt Reich.
Though both teams produced scoring chances in the match's final 20 minutes, neither could break the tie as the match headed to overtime.
Whitworth nearly earned a victory in the extra period's first minute when Azzam Azzam found himself on the end of a cross, but a Whitman defender hustled over to block the shot. The Blues took advantage of their new life exactly one minute later when Thompson discovered the ball at his feet and scored the match-winner.
The Blues finished the match with leads in every offensive category. Whitman led in shots (18-8), shots on goal (11-4), and corner kicks (6-0). Nunez finished with eight saves. Ty Cardinale also made a defensive save for the Pirates when he booted a shot off the back line.
Up next, the Pirates will look to bounce back when they take on Linfield on Saturday, Oct. 13.