Loggers maintain NWC lead with 1-0 victory at Willamette

Loggers maintain NWC lead with 1-0 victory at Willamette

SALEM, Ore.—The Puget Sound men's soccer team continued its run through the Northwest Conference Sunday, taking down host Willamette 1-0 in Salem, Ore.

The Loggers controlled play for much of the opening act, registering three corner kicks in the match's first six minutes. They also tallied the first shot and the first goal when Carson Swope finished a play involving Oliver Field and Sean Ryan into the net from five yards out. The goal, Swope's NWC-leading 11th of the year, gave the Loggers an early 1-0 lead.

Puget Sound threatened to score once more two minutes later, as both Ryan and Swope tallied shots in goal within 30 seconds during the 13th minute. Ryan's shot was saved by Bearcats goalie Braydon Calder while Swope's was cleared off the line by a Willamette defender.

Willamette saw the rest of the half's best scoring chances, tallying three shots in the final 13 minutes. Logger keeper Nathan King saved a shot from Willamette's Tyler Yates, while two shots from the Bearcats' Trevor Jensen also failed to make it into the net.

In the first half, the Loggers took six corner kicks and three shots, all three of which were on target. Willamette attempted only one corner but also took three shots, one of which was on frame.

During the final 45 minutes, the Logger defense limited Willamette to three shots again, only one of which was on frame. King made a save on a Sebastian Mortimer shot on frame in the 51st minute but couldn't control the rebound, which fell to Mortimer again. He got another attempt off, but the ball sailed over the goal for a Puget Sound goal kick.

Three minutes later, Colin McIntosh headed a ball on target off a corner kick, but Calder gained control of it and stopped it from crossing the line. The Loggers then tallied their final shot of the match in the 57th minute when Vincent McCluskey fired a shot to the right of the goal.

After McCluskey's shot, only one more shot was attempted by either side, a last-minute shot by Yates. King got his hands on it, however, and kept the clean sheet for Puget Sound. The Loggers have now shutout opponents five times this season, including each of their last three matches. They last allowed a goal 13 minutes into an Oct. 19 match at Whitworth, going 350 minutes of action without being scored upon.

Willamette saw a slight advantage in shots taken in the match, leading the category 6-5. The Loggers put four shots on frame, however, one more than the Bearcats managed. Puget Sound's King made three saves to keep the clean sheet, and the Loggers earned seven corners throughout the match.

Puget Sound (12-4-0, 10-1-0 NWC) has a five-point lead in the Northwest Conference standings. Next weekend they will play their final home stand of the season, hosting George Fox on Saturday, Nov. 2 and Pacific on Sunday, Nov. 3. Both matches will begin at 1:30 p.m. on Peyton Field on the campus of the University of Puget Sound.