by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – After an up-and-down weekend at home the Whitworth Pirates are back on the road this week to take on Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound.
The Pirates open the week against the Lutes on Saturday, Oct. 20 before taking on the Loggers the following day. Both matches begin at 2:30 p.m.
Live statistics and video links will be available on the Whitworth men's soccer schedule.
The Pirates: Whitworth (4-7-2, 3-3-1 NWC) enters the weekend looking for its first win in six matches after dropping five straight games before tying with conference-leading Willamette on Sunday. After falling 3-1 to Linfield on Saturday, the Bucs showed encouraging signs in a 1-1 draw with the Bearcats. Kyle Cacoyannis scored Whitworth's goal in the draw, which came on a penalty kick in the 36th minute. Jesus Nunez held off the Willamette attack with five saves in the 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 leads the conference in saves (56) and is third in save percentage (.767).
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 Lutes: Pacific Lutheran (11-4, 7-2 NWC) enters the weekend on a five-match winning streak after defeating George Fox and Pacific (Ore.) in its two matches last week. The Lutes currently sit in second in the NWC, four points behind Willamette in the standings. Joe Sammartino leads the Lute offense with seven goals and two assists. RJ Noll anchors the back line with the third-best goals against average (1.18) in the NWC and the fourth-best save percentage (.766). Whitworth emerged with a 3-0 victory last time the Bucs and Lutes squared off. Drew Williams scored twice in the win.
The Loggers: Puget Sound (5-5-3, 3-3-3 NWC) will be looking to extend its undefeated streak to four in their matches against Whitworth and Whitman. The Loggers tied with George Fox and defeated Pacific last weekend to remain in fourth in the Northwest Conference, one spot ahead of the Pirates. Sean Hamel paces Puget Sound's attack with an NWC-leading eight assists. Luke Murdock does most of the Loggers scoring with six goals on the year. The Logger goalkeeper, Wren Norwood, posted a 1.24 goals against average and a .731 save percentage in more than 1,000 minutes this season. The Pirates and Loggers tied 1-1 when they played in September. Chase Reidt scored his first goal as a Pirate in the tie.
Looking Ahead: Whitworth returns to Spokane for its final home matches of the year the weekend of Oct. 27-28 against Pacific (Ore.) and George Fox.
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.