NEWBERG, Ore. – Kevin Martin collected a loose ball in the penalty box and scored the only goal of the game four minutes into the first overtime, giving the visiting Willamette University Bearcats a 1-0 win over the George Fox University Bruins in Northwest Conference men's soccer action Saturday afternoon here at the Austin Sports Complex.
The winning play began with a throw-in from the left sideline which was placed in the middle of the keeper's box. Several players from both teams got a foot on the ball in a mad scramble to gain possession, but it rolled free and Martin booted it home from five yards out at the 93:53 mark to bring the hard-fought contest to a sudden conclusion. It was Martin's first goal of the season.
Willamette controlled play almost exclusively for the quarter of the game, denying George Fox a shot until Conor Ike got off an attempt 27:21 into the game. The Bearcats out-shot the Bruin 7-2 in the period, but only 2-0 in shots on goal as the Bruin defense prevented any serious Willamette threats.
George Fox keeper Elliott Davis had one save before leaving the game 21 minutes in when he was flipped and had the wind knocked out of him while punching a ball out of the keeper's box. Luis Angel Del Rio also had a save while filling in for Davis for the rest of the half.
Davis returned for the second half and added two more saves to his total as the Bearcats peppered the goal area with eight more shots, though only two were on target. The Bruins got three more shots in the second half, the only one on goal coming on an indirect free kick by Steven Haga that was snuffed by Willamette goalie Brayden Calder, who earned the shutout, with six minutes left in regulation.
In addition to a final 16-5 advantage in shots, the Bearcats doubled the Bruins' corner kick opportunities 10-5. Willamette committed 20 fouls to 18 for George Fox, while the Bruins drew three yellow cards and the Bearcats two.
The Bearcats and Bruins split their season series, each team taking a 1-0 win on the other's home turf. Willamette improved to 6-6-1 overall and 3-4-1 in the conference. George Fox had its modest two-game winning streak snapped and slipped to 2-10-1 overall, 2-6 in the NWC.
NEXT: George Fox hosts Linfield College and Willamette visits Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., on Saturday, both games at 2:30 p.m.