by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth men's soccer travels to Walla Walla, Wash. this weekend to close out its season against the Whitman Blues.
The Pirates and Blues square off at 6:00 p.m. Live statistics and video links will be available on the Whitworth men's soccer schedule.
The Pirates: Whitworth (5-10-4, 4-6-3 NWC) opened last weekend with a 1-0 win over Pacific (Ore.) before drawing with George Fox 1-1 the following day. Jose Bautista scored his first goal as a Pirate in the win over Pacific. The sophomore transfer picked up the rebound from Zanskar Blair's shot and booted it into the back of the net. Jesus Nunez made the lead stand up in a shutout effort.
After celebrating the Bucs' eight seniors on Sunday, Whitworth drew 1-1 with George Fox. The Bucs took an early lead when Azzam Azzam got a tapped pass from Bautista and sent his first goal of the year into the back of the net. The Bruins drew even three minutes out of halftime after a chaotic corner kick sequence resulted in a goal. Neither team could score the rest of the way, resulting in a tie.
Jesus Saves: Since taking over the starting goalkeeper role at the beginning of the Northwest Conference play, Jesus Nunez has been one of the best in the NWC. The junior is third in the conference in saves (63) and has posted a .741 save percentage.
Bullseye: Drew Williams has been one of the top offensive threats in the Northwest Conference. The junior is fifth in the conference with 5 goals on the year, and his 11 points also rank fifth in the NWC. Williams is also one of the most accurate attackers in the nation. 72 percent of his shots are on target, fifth-best in the country.
The Blues: Whitman (9-6-2, 8-3-2 NWC) enters the weekend on a five-match unbeaten streak after shutting out Pacific and George Fox last weekend. The Blues sport one of the top offenses in the league with 27 goals during NWC play. Peter Stephens leads that attack with seven goals, which is tied for fourth most in the conference. Jacob Barsher's four assists are tied for third in the NWC. Owen Davis-Bower, the Blues' goalkeeper, leads the Northwest Conference in goals against average (0.53) and is second in save percentage (.842). Whitman defeated Whitworth 2-1 in overtime when the two teams met in Spokane.
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.