Men’s soccer battles SPU to draw
Looking to bounce back from a road loss at the hands of Saint Martin’s University, the Western men’s soccer team traveled back home to face rival Seattle Pacific University in a Saturday Sept. 24 matchup.
A crowd of 524 fans watched as Western and Seattle Pacific battled for 110 minutes, going back and forth. Ultimately, neither team was able to break through in the overtime periods, resulting in a 3-3 draw.
The Falcons scored first, but the Vikings were able to respond with a goal in the 19th minute from freshman forward Christian Rotter. Each team scored once more before the half, including a goal scored in the 41st minute by junior midfielder Drew Barker.
“Things happen, we move on and now we’re going to go to the next opponent.”
Western took the lead early in the second half off of a penalty kick that was converted by captain Luke Olney. The Vikings were able to hold on to that lead until the final 10 minutes, when the Falcons scored the equalizer to send the game to overtime.
“Our guys grinded for 110 minutes. It would be nice to have 11 players out there , but it’s a darby,” said Western goalkeeper Tyler Visten, in reference to the rivalry. “Things happen, we move on and now we’re going to go to the next opponent.”
After the draw, Rotter praised the effort of his team.
“I can’t ask for more out of teammates,” Rotter said. “Everyone’s there for each other… you do it for 90 minutes, 110 minutes, a thousand minutes, I don’t care. If we’re still playing, yeah I might be tired, but everyone gives it all for the guy standing next to him.”
The Vikings have used that sense of dedication to open up the young season with a record of 3-2-2 overall, including a loss and a draw at Great Northwest Athletic Conference matches. After one week of conference play, Western currently stands in a three-way tie with Concordia University and Saint Martin’s for fourth place in the GNAC standings.
Western opened the season playing two games in California, going 1-0-1 on the short trip — including a 1-0 victory over Chico State University and a 0-0 draw against Sonoma State University.
“If we’re still playing, yeah I might be tired, but everyone gives it all for the guy standing next to him.”
Western then returned to Bellingham, where the team hosted three straight games. In the first two contests, the Vikings went 1-1.
After a five-day break, Western returned to action at Robert S. Harrington Field to face its highest ranked opponent of the year, as well as its final non-conference foe, number 18 ranked Fort Hays State University. Freshman midfielder Jeremiah Lee was able to break a scoreless draw in the first half of action and give the Vikings an eventual 1-0 upset victory over the Tigers.
The win was the first for Western against a ranked opponent since a 1-0 victory over University of California San Diego in 2014.
Western has a short break before returning to action Saturday Oct. 1, when the team takes on Concordia at Harrington Field beginning at 5 p.m.