Back-and-Forth Battle Ends in a Tie in Home Opener
GEORGETOWN, Texas - Southwestern always had the equalizer just in time to keep from falling to Willamette on Friday night but couldn't score the go-ahead as they posted a 2-2tie in their home opener.
Southwestern had the first few solid attacks of the game but it was Willamette that struck first on their first shot of the game. Yzan Hishmeh chipped the ball from the middle of the field, 15 yards from goal, to Erik Kaufman breaking towards goal who snuck the ball just under the crossbar to give the Bearcats and early 1-0 lead.
Evan Perkins had numerous breakaway opportunities and the Pirates had solid touches in the box throughout the first half, but weren't able to put them away and went into halftime trailing 1-0.
Southwestern came out strong at the outset of the second half with Forrest Baker getting the first great look at goal of the period, but was saved off the line by a Bearcat defender and eventually recovered by the keeper to keep SU scoreless.
As the game got later Southwestern picked up the pressure and got another shot at the equalizer when Perkins played the ball across goal. Eamma just narrowly missed the one touch shot and Nickols' shot didn't quite have the angle it needed and skid just right of the goal.
With under ten minutes to play SU needed a break and got just that as Zach Faulkner was tackled in the box, resulting in a penalty kick. Ryan Staten stepped to the ball and easily delivered the equalizer with nine minutes to play.
The game moved into the first overtime and Willamette once again took control of the game with a goal by Erik Kaufman seven minutes in.
As the game wound to a close it seemed that the Bearcats were going to leave town with the win, but Southwestern continued to fight and once again had the answer. Kyle Allen was in the right place at the right time when the ball trickled out of the box and Allen ripped a shot from 20 yards out. His low line drive spun away from the goalie and just inside the post to tie the game once again. With one minute to play the game ended in a 2-2 tie.
SU took 19 shots to Willamette's 9 and had two more corners (7-5). Daniel Poole recorded four saves in goal.
The Pirates move to 1-0-1 on the year and remain at home to face nationally-ranked UT-Tyler on Monday afternoon. Game time is set for 12:00 pm.