Pirates, Eagles Battle to Scoreless Tie

Pirates, Eagles Battle to Scoreless Tie

by Andrew Goodwin,  Sports Information Assistant 

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates and Northwest Eagles battled to a 0-0 tie Friday afternoon in a match where the Bucs were unable to finish chances in the offensive third. 

The tie moves the Pirates to an 0-3-1 overall record while the Eagles are now 1-0-1. Both of Northwest's matches have been against Northwest Conference opponents. 

Both teams started the match slow before creating a few opportunities in the match's first 20 minutes. The Pirates chances came on a pair of corner kicks, neither of which resulted in a shot, and Aaron Yanagi blocked two long distance shots from the Eagles. 

Whitworth's best chances of the half came later from Zanskar Blair, but neither passed Eagle goalkeeper Agazi Birkner. Blair's 34th minute free kick inched over the crossbar, and his 42nd minute shot was saved. 

The Pirates struggled to connect their passes early in the second half. Northwest nearly took advantage after it moved the ball up the field with the help of Whitworth turnovers, but both of the Eagles' shots missed wide. 

The Bucs reconnected in final 20 minutes of regulation. Drew Williams and Drew Wilson found each other on a one-two pass in the penalty area, but Wilson's shot was blocked in the box. Daniel Alvarez attempted to score on the rebound and his shot sailed high.

Wilson created another chance quickly after, stealing a pass from the goalkeeper in the offensive third. Brandon Karberg recovered from his error quickly though and batted Wilson's shot away in the box. 

Wilson's attempt would be the last true chance of regulation for either side and the two teams headed into overtime. 

The Bucs' best chance in the extra period came after three beautiful, short passes in the penalty area. Chase Reidt and Azzam Azzam used some tic-tac-toe passing to give Azzam a one-on-one opportunity with the keeper, but the sophomore's shot missed wide.

After Azzam failed to win the match for Whitworth, Elijah Gordon nearly did for Northwest. Gordon fired a 30-yard free kick on goal with two minutes left, but Jimmy Choi rose to meet it and punched the ball over the crossbar to keep the match deadlocked to the end. 

The Pirates finished the match with a 13-10 advantage in shots and a 4-2 lead in shots on goal. Whitworth was also called offsides nine times. 

Up next, The Bucs take on Walla Walla University at 4:00 p.m. on Friday afternoon. The match will take place on the Whitworth Soccer Field.