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Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Cold Halloween night leads to win for men’s soccer

WWU forward Jacob Ramos jumps for a shot on goal in the final minutes against Seattle Pacific University on Thursday, Oct. 31. Vikings won the game 4-0. // Photo by Grady Haskell

*This story was updated on Nov. 3, 2019 at 2:25 p.m.

By Elizabeth Mahan

The Western men’s soccer team beat Seattle Pacific University 4-0 on Halloween night, holding their No. 23 national ranking. The Vikings lead the Greater Northwest Athletic Conference with a record of 7-0-1 and 10-3-1 in season.

“We are here to play; we are here to go after it, no matter where they [SPU] are on the table, but where we are,” senior forward Ryan Schaefer said.

The nearly freezing temperatures didn’t stop the Vikings from winning the game. Nor did it stop the 73 plus fans from cheering them on, some watching from their cars and honking their horns for each goal.

The grueling match saw multiple slide tackles and five yellow cards, setting the thrill throughout the game. 

Schaefer scored in the first five minutes with a shot into the left corner of the net. Senior forward Christian Rotter assisted the goal, his first of two of the night.

Junior defender Camron Miller headed the ball in after a free-kick from junior midfielder Georg Cholewa, securing the second goal in the 24th minute.

“Getting four goals against a good team is hard to do,” said head coach Greg Brisbon. “Seattle Pacific has had a season that hasn’t gone their way, but they are always in the games.”

Sophomore forward Johan Espinoza kicked off the second half with the third goal after Rotter dribbled up the middle and crossed it to the near post.

Espinoza hadn’t had a goal since the win against Saint Martin’s University on Oct. 17. 

“I was really hungry to get that goal,” said Espinoza. “Without the team effort and all the teamwork that we have been putting in, [the goal] wouldn’t have happened, but it happened tonight. We are at the top of the table, and we have to keep it that way. 

Junior forward Alex Whiting closed the game with a final goal in the 72nd minute after an assist by Schaefer. 

It was a hard-fought game by both teams, landing them in an almost equal possession of the ball. 

Freshman goalkeeper Brandon Locke secured a shutout despite 14 shots on goal. 

“I like to tell the guys, ‘don’t take the highest too high because otherwise you’ll stumble if you aren’t doing the right thing to keep maintaining,’” Schaefer said. 

The team has won six consecutive games, with the next three at home on Nov. 7, Nov. 9 and Nov. 14, all starting at 7 p.m.

“We are just game by game, performance by performance, trying to get better every match,” Brisbon said.

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