Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Two early goals and a late tally erased the memory of yesterday's tough overtime setback as the Pacific Lutheran University men's soccer team defeated Northwest Conference rival Whitman College 3-2 on Sunday.
The Lutes (9-6-2, 6-4-1 NWC) took the first lead of the game in the 21st minute when Diego Aceves took a pass from Bennett Bugbee to finish with a goal. 20 seconds later, the Lutes scored their second of the game, as Eddie Na raced past the defense to put the Lutes up 2-0.
Whitman (8-5-4, 4-3-4 NWC) quickly responded, cutting into the lead in the 23rd minute when Collin Faunt scored off of a pass from Jadon Bachtold. Bachtold then evened things up in the 44th minute, scoring thanks to an assist from Noah Cavanaugh.
Both sides remained even for much of the second half until the 79th minute, when Eddie Na scored his second goal of the game to put the Lutes back up 3-2. The Lutes defense held on from there to preserve the team's sixth conference win of the season.
"It was a great response to yesterday's loss," Head Coach John Yorke said. "The guys had a strong resolve and did the dirty work that you have to do in this conference to grind out tough wins."
Both sides were even with 16 shots apiece, but the Lutes showed more precision, as seven of their shots were on goal compared to only four for Whitman.
"I was very proud of the way our guys came out to play today," Yorke said.
Goalie Tyler Ohata earned the win, playing the second half in relief of Jack Rose and grabbing two saves. Owen Davis-Bower started for Whitman, grabbing one save. Jack Filipponi took the loss after playing the second half and grabbing two saves.
The Lutes return home next weekend to host Pacific University on Saturday and George Fox University for Senior Day on Sunday.