Written by Student Assistant Jake Bilyeu
WALLA WALLA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University men's soccer team played Northwest Conference rival Whitman College to a 2-2 double overtime tie in the rain on Saturday afternoon. Eddie Na provided both scores as the tie maintained the Lutes' position at second place in the NWC standings.
The host Blues (5-7-3, 4-3-3 NWC) got off to a quick start, as Noah Cavanaugh drove past the Lute defense to score in the sixth minute. However, the Lutes (8-4-3, 6-2-2 NWC) evened things up before the half, as Na scored in the 32nd minute on a penalty kick. Otherwise both defenses contained the offensive flow of their opponents, entering the half tied at 1-1.
In the second half, both the Blues and the Lutes doubled their shot output from the first half, but both defenses still held their foes to one goal in the half. The Blues' goal came less than a minute after the intermission, as Noah Cavanaugh assisted Jacob Fritz on the score to regain the lead. The lead wasn't theirs for long, though, as Na scored his second goal of the game, and his thirteenth of the season, to even things up in the 56th minute.
Neither side could take advantage of their late opportunities, and so the game headed to overtime. Other than two late attempts from Eddie Na and the Blues' Ben Freedman, neither side could get much going. In the second overtime period, the Lutes saw two great pushes come up empty, and then the Blues saw two attacks bring the same result. A late free kick for the Lutes was defended well, and the game ended in a tie.
RJ Noll made five saves in goal for the Lutes who are unbeaten (5-0-1) in their last six outings. His counterpart, Owen Davis-Bower, stopped two shots on the afternoon.
The tie puts the Lutes three points behind first place Willamette University, who defeated George Fox University 2-0 on Saturday afternoon. The Lutes could still tie the Bearcats in the standings, but first they'll have to face Whitworth University, who currently boast a five-game win streak, on Sunday.