By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SAN ANTONIO, Texas -- Four Bearcats each scored a goal, including Yushiro Shiomi (So., D, Kyoto, Japan/TIUA), who also earned two assists, as the Willamette University men's soccer team opened the 2019 season with a 4-0 victory over Howard Payne University on Saturday, Aug. 31 in a neutral-site game played at Paul McGinlay Soccer Field on the Trinity University campus. Also scoring goals for the Bearcats were Carter McCleary (Jr., F, Port Hadlock, WA/Chimacum HS), Nicholas Ballenger (Jr., F, Salem, OR/West Salem HS/Oregon State Univ.), and Ryan Sato (Fr., F, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS).
In addition, Ballenger, Mack van der Velde (Jr., D, Voorhout, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR), and Pierce Gallaway (Fy., M, Carmel, CA/Carmel HS) each were credited with an assist. Willamette, now 1-0 on the season, will battle Trinity on Sunday, Sept. 1 at McGinlay Soccer Field, with kickoff set for 7 p.m. CST/5 p.m. PST. Trinity is ranked #9 in the NCAA Division III Preseason Poll.
In Saturday's game against Howard Payne, the Bearcats attained a 34-3 advantage in total shots and an 11-0 edge in shots on goal. The Yellow Jackets fell to 0-1. WU goalkeeper Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) did not have to make a save while earning the shutout. HPU goalie Matt Prall accumulated seven saves.
"We are really pleased with the result we were able to come away with and the performance the players produced," Willamette Head Coach Jared Rust said. "The team stuck to the game plan and it paid off. We have a lot of work to do in order to be where we want to be, but this was a great start to that journey."
It was the first game for Rust as the Bearcats' head coach following six seasons as an coach at Willamette (2011-13 and 2016-18).
McCleary opened the scoring with a goal at 29:48. He was assisted on the play by Mack van der Velde (Jr., D, Voorhout, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR) and Shiomi. The play began with a pass from Shiomi to van der Velde in the left corner. He crossing pass went to McCleary, who shot from near the penalty spot in to the upper part of the net. The strike by McCleary allowed the Bearcats to retain a 1-0 lead at halftime.
Early in the second half, the Bearcats increased their advantage to 2-0 on a goal by Ballenger at 47:36. Shiomi registered his second assist by setting up Ballenger's shot with a cross from the left side close to the end line. Ballenger headed the ball into the net from four yards out. The lead advanced to 3-0 when Shiomi scored on a tap in outside the left post, assisted by Ballenger and Galloway, at 69:45. Sato completed the scoring with a 33-yard blast for a goal at 81:46.
Ballenger and Sato each took five total shots for the Bearcats. Shiomi and Gallaway each contributed three shots.