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Men's soccer wins big over Nazarene Crusaders

Western’s men’s soccer pulled out a victory during overtime against the Northwest Nazarene University Crusaders at home on Saturday night after senior defender Kurtis Pederson scored the game-winning goal, ending the match 2-1.

“That’s my first game-winner ever here,” Pederson said. “Stephen [Jinnemen] put a beautiful ball in for me to just easily tap it in.”

Vikings played strong defense for the majority of the game, with junior goalkeeper Andrew Wildfong completing several saves at the beginning of the first half, resulting in zeros for both teams.

“We knew Nazarene was going to have a lot of possession,” senior defender Jeremy Wentzel said. “Next time, if we get a chance, we need to play out more and take the ball.”

An injury substitution for Northwest Nazarene began the second half, followed by the first point of the game scored by the Crusaders who were able to quickly cut past the Viking defense.

Junior midfielder Conner Pichette tied the game shortly after at 1-1, after beating Northwest Nazarene’s keeper to the ball after a missed shot, sending them into overtime.

Pederson pulled the Vikings through with the game-winning shot during overtime, helped by sophomore midfielder Stephen Jinneman. Jinneman passed to Pederson, who was in an open position to head the ball into the net.

“We’re just going to enjoy the win tonight,” assistant coach Richard Henderson said. “We’re overdue for a little bit of luck.”

Vikings will play Saint Martin's University Thursday, Oct. 15, in Lacey. The next home game for them will be against University of Mary, at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 22. at Robert S. Harrington Field.

Kurtis Pederson battles Nazarene player, Saturday, Oct. 10 at Robert S. Harrington Field.// Photo by Christina Becker

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