Battling into the night and under the lights Friday night, Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound ended their Northwest Conference men's soccer showdown in a 2-2 double overtime tie at PLU's East Field.
As a result of the tie, the Lutes move into a first-place tie with Whitworth, both teams with 16 points in the NWC standings. Through the first half of conference play the Lutes are 5-1-1, and they are now 6-4-2 for the season. Whitworth has one more game to play - it hosts Whitman tomorrow afternoon - to wrap up the first part of the conference slate. Puget Sound is now 4-1-2 in the conference, good for 14 points, and it is 7-2-3 overall.
The Lutes got on the board less than four minutes into the game, 3:46 to be exact, when Derek Johnson took a lay off pass from Emmanuel Amarh and slammed it into the goal from about 20 yards out. It was Johnson's sixth goal of the season and Amarh's fifth assist. PLU continued to pressure the Puget Sound defense for the next 25 minutes or so but could not get off a shot that really tested Loggers keeper Chris McDonald.
At the intermission the Lutes maintained their 1-0 lead despite the Loggers owning a 5-4 advantage in shots. PLU junior keeper Joe Rayburn came up big on several occasions, including a point-blank stop of Andrew White's header early in the period.
Puget Sound had been getting a little more of the play late in the first half, and it turned up the pressure even more in the opening part of the second period. The work paid off when Carson Swope slipped past a couple of defenders and laid the ball off for Oliver Field, who pushed it around a sliding Rayburn and then finished into the open goal. The tying tally came at the 59:06 mark.
Against the run of play, Pacific Lutheran scored the go-ahead goal on a set piece at 72:50. Amarh, who had been knocked down to set up the free kick about 10 yards outside of the box, volleyed Shane Gutierrez's free kick past McDonald and into the back of the net, his sixth goal of the campaign. Gutierrez placed the ball perfectly over the Puget Sound defense and found Amarh, who beat his man from the far post.
Just when it seemed that the Lutes would get the win, the Loggers came up with the match-tying goal at 86:18. Field, who had scored the earlier goal, crossed the ball in from the wing and Ryan Rash rose to head it past Rayburn.
Through the 90 minutes of regulation the Loggers enjoyed a 13-8 advantage in shots, but it was PLU that put on the heat in overtime. Neither team had a shot throgh the first 10 minute extra period, but the Lutes forced two saves from McDonald in the second overtime. First he saved a shot by Jeff Piaquadio from a corner kick, and then seconds later stopped Mark Lee's follow up effort.
The match ended with the Loggers on top in shots, 13-11, forcing four saves from Rayburn and also a team save on a clearance off the line. McDonald ended the match with five saves for Puget Sound. Corner kicks went to UPS by a 10-7 count.
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