Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University men's soccer team utilized an Eddie Na goal in double overtime to defeat Northwest Conference rival Whitworth University 3-2 on Sunday, marking the second straight season the Lutes have bested the Pirates at East Field.
The Pacific Lutheran University men's soccer team rebounded off of a disappointing loss to Whitman on Saturday by beating Whitworth University at home for the second straight season in a 3-2 overtime victory over the Pirates.
The Pirates (4-3-1, 2-1-1 NWC) grabbed the lead early in the first half, as Moi Diaz scored an unassisted goal in the 18th minute. The Lutes (5-4-1, 2-2) tied it up in the 32st minute when Bennett Bugbee scored as the teams went into halftime tied 1-1.
The Lutes didn't wait long in the second half to take their first lead of the game. Eddie Na contributed his seventh goal of the season in the 52nd minute by pushing past the goalie to score. The Pirates launched several waves of attacking runs in an attempt to tie the game again, finally catching a break with a penalty kick in the 85th minute which was converted by Jonah Snyder to send the game into overtime at 2-2.
After a scoreless first overtime period, where both teams saw offensive runs draw corner kicks but nothing more, the game moved into the second and final overtime period. After a few minutes of play, Na broke free and took a pass from Diego Aceves all the way to the goal, driving it past the goalie to end the game, a 3-2 victory for the Lutes.
"There were two very good teams on the field today, and both sides played well and had good runs," head coach John Yorke said. "We've got a group that committed to being mentally stronger than we were yesterday. Whatever the result, they were dialed in."
The Lutes gained a much needed win on Sunday, moving the team to within a game of first place in the conference standings.
"Beating Whitworth is always a big win," Yorke said. "They're a rival that we enjoy playing, and getting this win boosts our confidence."
The team's recovery after surrendering the late penalty kick showed how much the team could grow overnight.
"We knew yesterday we fell apart, so we stayed composed today, and thankfully pulled through," Aceves said. "This moment will probably change the whole season. We showed that if we play our game one game at a time, we'll reach our goal."
The Lutes will travel back to Oregon next weekend to take on Linfield College on Saturday and Willamette University on Sunday. Both games are 2:30 p.m. starts.