By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University trailed George Fox University 1-0 after less than 13 minutes, but goals by Matt Bauer (Sr., D, Seattle, WA/Seattle Preparatory School) and Garrett Ross (Sr., F, Pacific Palisades, CA/Oakwood Secondary) just 1:10 apart in the closing minutes of the first half sent the Bearcats to a 2-1 victory over the Bruins in men's soccer on Sunday, Sept. 27. Willamette moved its record to 2-6-1 overall, 1-3 in the Northwest Conference. GFU fell to 4-6-0, 1-3 in the NWC.
The Bruins claimed the lead on a goal by Miguel Lopez Ixta at 12:23 on a counter-attack. Lopez Izta scored on an 18-yard shot pat charging WU goalkeeper Braydon Calder (Sr., GK, Philomath, OR/Philomath HS) following a through pass. Joab Logan and Luis Rangel earned assists on the play.
Willamette almost equalized about 17 minutes later, following a trio of shots. Yazan Hishmeh (Sr., F, Ventura, CA/Saint Bonaventure HS) missed wide left at 29:31 and Jack Elton (Jr., D, Corte Madera, CA/Redwood HS) also missed wide left nine seconds later.
Less than 30 seconds after Elton's shot, Julian Hanlon-Austin (Jr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS) moved past GFU goalie Murray Noble and shot from the far right side. His blast was on target, but the ball was knocked away near the right post by a defender at 30:09.
The Bearcats tallied the tying goal at 42:40 at the end of a free kick. Elton took the kick from 30 yards out and sent the ball near the left post. Matt Bauer (Sr., D, Seattle, WA/Seattle Preparatory School) headed the ball into the net from four yards out.
WU gained the lead at 43:50 following a lengthy throw-in by Hanlon-Austin. The throw-in reached Christopher Barnes (Jr., D, Los Altos, CA/ Mountain View HS), who headed the ball. It went off a defender and straight to Ross, who scored from eight yards into the upper right corner of the goal.
For the game, Willamette outshot the Bruins 19-17 and held a 9-5 advantage in shots on goal.The Bearcats also owned a 5-4 edge in corner kicks.
Noble earned six saves for GFU, including a nice stop on a shot by Joe Plaster (Fr., D, San Diego,CA/University City HS) at 61:18. Plaster shot from nine yards on the left side and nearly snuck the ball in at the near post, but Noble was there for the save.
Calder registered four saves -- all in the second half -- for Willamettte. His saves included a solid stop on a shot from 18 yards by Joab Logan at 63:43 and an impressive stop near the ground on a 17-yard shot by Rangel at 79:43.
The win ended a five-game losting streak for the Bearcats. Four of the losses were by a single goal, including three consecutive 1-0 defeats to open Northwest Conference play.
Willamette will play at University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Oct. 3. Kickoff in Tacoma, Washington, is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).