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WHITWORTH 6, GEORGE FOX 0: Pirates Within One of NWC Title after Scuttling Bruins
SPOKANE, Wash. – Led by Andrew French’s two goals, the nationally-ranked Whitworth University Pirates scored early, late, and often in a 6-0 win over the visiting George Fox University Bruins to move within one game of clinching the Northwest Conference men’s soccer championship Sunday afternoon here at the Whitworth soccer field.
The Pirates, who are ranked 9th in the NSCAA poll and 12th in the D3soccer.com poll, improved to 12-0-3 overall and 9-0-2 in the NWC in their final regular season home match. Paired with Pacific Lutheran University’s 3-1 loss to Linfield College, Whitworth needs one more win to clinch the conference title. The Bruins, meanwhile, fell to 2-13-1 overall and 2-9 in the conference.
The Pirates set the tone early when Balin Larson scored his first goal of the season after a scramble in front of the George Fox goal in the ninth minute. Five minutes later, Samuel Engle sent a pass forward for Robby Ubben, who beat Bruin keeper Elliot Davis to the ball and chipped it over Davis and into the net for a 2-0 Pirate advantage, which was the halftime score. It was Ubben’s team-leading sixth goal of the season.
French went to work early in the second half. He was set up on his first goal by a long pass from Kekoa Mountcastle, which was flicked on by Sam Selisch. French then dribbled around Davis and shot into an open net for his third goal of the season in the 49th minute. His next goal was again assisted by Selisch in the 53rd minute, a breakaway shot from the right side of the penalty area.
At that point, both teams began clearing the benches and the Bruins began picking up yellow cards. George Fox was assessed three in the final 25 minutes, including two to Taran Girard which left the Bruins a man down over the final 16 minutes. Taking advantage of the mismatch, Mountcastle scored his first goal of the season in the 81st minute, and Nathan Fosket closed out the scoring with his first score off a corner kick with six seconds to play. Ryan Wood had an assist on both goals.
The Pirates finished with a 29-5 edge in shots, including a 16-1 advantage in shots on goal, and also had 11 corner kick opportunities to two for the Bruins. Myles Sorokovsky and Evan Cooney led the Bruins with two shots apiece.
Davis made six saves for the Bruins and backup keeper Arlo Powell made four stops. Kyle Novak only had to make one save over his 70 minutes in goal for the Bucs, and Nate Bell played the final 20 minutes.
NEXT: George Fox hosts the University of Puget Sound Saturday at 2:30 p.m., with the Bruin women playing Linfield College in the first game of the day’s doubleheader at 12:00 noon ... Whitworth visits Willamette University Saturday at 2:30 p.m. in a first attempt to secure the NWC crown.