Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
TACOMA, Wash. – Bennett Bugbee's double overtime goal with under two minutes left in double overtime lifted the Pacific Lutheran University men's soccer team to a 1-0 victory over crosstown rival University of Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference showdown at East Field.
The Battle of the South Sound was a fitting moniker as both team's struggled to gain an advantage. At the end regulation, the Lutes (6-4-2, 4-2-1 NWC) had a slight lead over the Loggers (6-4, 4-3 NWC) in shots, getting up nine attempts to their six. PLU didn't get another shot off until the 109th minute when Bugbee drilled home a goal off an assist from Chris Trussell to win the game.
"I had the same opportunity earlier in the game. I hit it first time, I didn't hit it well and it sailed out for a goal kick," Bugbee noted. "This time, it was sort of the same situation. I saw the guy coming from my left pretty hard, so I decided to take it around him. Luckily my left foot worked today and it went in."
PLU was solid in the early going, getting up six shots to Puget Sound's three. The Lutes maximized their chances by accruing corner kicks. The Lutes had six corners, while the Loggers came up with just one.
RJ Noll was crucial for the Lutes on Saturday. The junior out of Yelm, Washington made five saves, including a huge save in the first overtime that would gave given Puget Sound the win.
"I was proud of them," head coach John Yorke said. "I thought we had a very good start to the game. UPS is a very tough team to play against. They are very relentless in the way they pressure you. As a group, we are definitely growing. We are much better right now than we were three weeks ago. I think winning two overtime games in a row against very difficult opponents can only give you confidence moving forward into the second half of the season."
With the win from men's soccer, PLU improves to 4-0 in the Battle of the South Sound as women's soccer, volleyball, and football have beaten Puget Sound in the early part of the 2017-2018 academic year.
The Lutes are back in action next Saturday, hosting Pacific University at 12 p.m.