By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Mack van der Velde (Jr., D, Voorhout, Neth./Summit HS, Bend, OR) scored for Willamette University on a header near the right post with six seconds left in regulation, providing the Bearcats with the winning goal in a 2-1 victory over the University of Puget Sound at Sparks Field on Sunday, Oct. 20. The goal by van der Velde followed a lengthy free kick by Ryan Sato (So., MF, Sunnyvale, CA/Homestead HS) with about 10 seconds to go.
Willamette and Puget Sound are tied at 8-3-3 on the season and 5-3-1 in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats and the Loggers currently share third place in the NWC with 16 points, trailing only Pacific Lutheran University (7-0-2 in the NWC, 23 points) and Whitman College (7-2-0 in the NWC, 21 points).
"I'm really happy with the response from the group today after a rough result yesterday (2-1 loss to Pacific Lutheran). I thought we played very well, and looked to be very dangerous throughout the match. We were able to score two great goals, first from McCleary and then to win the match from van der Velde, our very own 'Flying Dutchman'! They were both brilliant."
In Sunday's game, the Loggers scored first on a goal by Cale Spence assisted by Angel Herrera-Flores at 8:26. The ball went from Herrera-Floris in the middle of the box to Spence, who trapped it and then shot from 18 yards out. The shot had plenty of spin as it went into the upper right corner of the net.
Willamette tied the score at 1-1 when Carter McCleary (Jr., F, Port Hadlock, WA/Chimacum HS) sent the ball into the net on a header from five yards at 20:47. The assist on Willamette's first goal went to Josh Schneider (So., F, Washoughal, WA/Camas HS), who beat a defender near the sideline, took the ball inside the right edge of the penalty area, and sent a line drive cross to McCleary.
Neither team scored during the remainder of the first half or nearly all of the second half, before van der Velde earned the winning goal in the closing seconds. Puget Sound finished with an 11-10 edge in total shots, but the Bearcats owned a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal. Each goalie -- Mason Kelliher (Sr., GK, Wellington, N.Z./Wellington College) of Willamette and Blake Robertson of Puget Sound -- accumulated three saves and provided strong play in their respective 18-yard box.
Kelliher also saved a penalty kick for the Bearcats. Herrera-Flores was fouled in the Willamette penalty area just 7:41 into the game. Luke Murdock took the penalty kick for the Loggers. His attempt was struck low and close to Kelliher who stopped the shot and then covered up a short rebound.
Murdock registered a game-high five shots -- two on goal -- for the Loggers. McCleary topped Willamette with three shots, while Max Berner-Hays (Jr., D, Seattle, WA/Ballard HS) achieved two shots. Willamette claimed a 4-3 edge in corner kicks, including 3-1 in the second half.
The Bearcats will play at George Fox University in Newberg, Oregon, on Saturday, Oct. 26. Game time is slated for 2:30 p.m. (PDT).