WWU forward Christian Rotter squares off against a Point Loma Nazarene University player on Saturday, Sept. 28. The Vikings won the game 2-1 after scoring twice in the first half. // Photo by Alex Moreno
Bellingham, Wash. – Western men’s soccer team scored a pair of early goals against non-conference opponent Point Loma Nazarene University (4-3-0) to come away with a 2-1 victory Saturday, Sept. 28 at Robert S. Harrington Field.
This win helps to improve the Vikings record to 3-3-0 on the season and marks a huge comeback win after losing to No. 3 ranked Azusa Pacific (7-0-0) Thursday in a close overtime game.
Winning this game marks the third time in the season that the Vikings have followed a loss with a comeback win, including a loss from No. 6 ranked West Texas A&M which was followed up by a 4-3 win against Colorado School of Mines.
“We knew the style of play would be different because most California teams love to possess the ball a lot and be in control so we knew it would be pretty similar in that case but we knew they wouldn’t be as good as Azusa,” senior defender Nick Morgan said. “We knew we would be a bigger team and we used our set pieces to our advantage tonight.”
The game kicked off at 7 p.m. and started off with the Vikings scoring both of their goals in the first 25 minutes of the game.
Junior defender Camron Miller scored the first goal of the game in the 12th minute when he received a long free kick from junior midfielder Drew Farnsworth and headed it into the lower right section of the goal post to give the Vikings an early 1-0 lead.
Around the 25th minute, senior Ryan Schaefer received a long pass from sophomore midfielder Gus Diehl. After controlling the ball, he found a good position to kick the ball into the upper right corner giving the Vikings a 2-0 lead and marking Schaefer’s second goal of the season.
“It’s encouraging when the team can make chances and then score one, it’s enough to win the game today,” Schaefer, one of the team’s co-captains said.
The Sea Lions did answer with a goal in the 36th minute on an intercepted pass by Hunter Loomis from the Vikings sophomore goalkeeper Brandon Wolter, who then kicked a low hard shot into the lower left of the goal to make the game 2-1.
For the rest of the game and the second half, the Vikings were able to hold off Point Loma from having a shot on goal. Freshman goalkeeper Brandon Locke made his collegiate debut in the second half.
Head coach Greg Brisboon said he was not happy to give up a goal, but he was pleased to see his team convert most of the chances they created.
“Our energy and team defense in the second half greatly improved from the first, and I was pleased with that,” Brisbon said. “We finished our chances and scored two goals and that’s super important.”
Western out-shot Point Loma 18-5 and also had a 5-2 advantage in shots on goal. The Vikings will open up conference play this week with two games in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference.
The team will face rival Seattle Pacific University Thursday Oct. 3 at Interbay Stadium in Seattle and then return home to Harrington Field to host Saint Martin’s University at 7 p.m. Saturday Oct. 5