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PLU Can't Hold Off No. 11-Ranked Whitworth

Shane Gutierrez (7)
Shane Gutierrez (7)

SPOKANE, Wash. – Pacific Lutheran scored twice as many goals as Whitworth had allowed all season, but the No. 11-ranked Pirates rallied to defeat the visiting Lutes, 3-2, in Northwest Conference men's soccer action on Saturday afternoon. 

The Pirates improved to 8-0-1 overall and 5-0 (15 points) in the NWC, while the Lutes saw their four-match winning streak come to an end and fell to 5-4-1, 4-1 (12 points) in conference.

As is typical of games between the traditional Northwest Conference powers, the pace of play was intense and fast throughout and the contest featured wide swings in momentum.

Whitworth got on the board first on a bicycle kick goal from freshman Samuel Engle.  Colin Shockman set up the goal by getting clear on the right sideline.  His long cross found Mike Chavez, who headed the ball back toward Engle.  Engle elevated with his back to the goal and kicked the ball over his head and just inside the right post in the 11th minute for his third goal of the season.

Emmanuel Amarh tied it for PLU in the first half when he a pass from Giancarlo Santoro and beat Whitworth keeper Kyle Novak from near the top of the box in the 24th minute.  Amarh now has five goals this season.

Pacific Lutheran controlled possession for the first 10 minutes of the second half and it was rewarded when Shane Gutierrez connected on a hard shot from outside the penalty area, tucking the ball just inside the left post. It was his first goal of the year.

Whitworth tied the match 10 minutes later when Will Wren got possession deep in the Lutes' end, dribbled around his defender and found Sam Selisch wide open in the middle of the box.  It was the first goal of the season for Selisch.

Karl Muelheims made a great defensive play to set up Robbie Ubben for the match-winning goal.  His interception was directed toward Ubben, who flicked the ball over PLU keeper Joe Rayburn and into the net for his third goal of the season in the 84th minute.

After giving up a season-high two goals to the Lutes, the Whitworth defense buttoned up and allowed PLU only a single shot in the final five minutes.  Brenden Cohen's attempt with just under two minutes to play was high.

Whitworth finished with a shot advantage of 22-10, including an 11-4 edge in shots on goal.  Rayburn made eight saves to keep the Lutes close.  Novak made two saves for the Pirates.

(Courtesy of Whitworth Sports Information.)