The Pacific University men’s soccer team recently beat Whitworth University (WU) in Spokane, Wash., for the first time in nineteen years. It was the Boxers first win in conference play this season.
Going into the game, WU was picked to win the Northwest Conference Championship again this year, after winning the title the last three seasons. Pacific came into the game a slight underdog.
“Anytime you win on the road, that is critical to conference play,” Head Coach Eric Mild said.
WU opened the scoring in the contest with a goal in the 24 minute, but Pacific would answer back with a goal of their own in the 33 minute thanks to freshman James Curro. The game remained tied at half but Pacific opened the scoring in the second half with two goals from senior Matt Kimball, one of which was assisted by senior Diego Lopes.
WU scored one goal in a late flurry, but were unable to tie up the game as Pacific would hold on to a 3-2 victory, helped by senior goalkeeper Leyton Thommasen who recorded five saves.
“To take points on the road from a team picked to win the conference is big,” Mild said. “Our team goal was to beat Whitworth and we viewed it as a necessity in order to compete for a conference championship.”
Mild said the win in Spokane showed him how his team has a lot of spirit and heart to go along with the talent they possess.
“It showed that when we are disciplined and execute the game plan well,” Mild said. “We can be successful against anyone.”
The momentous win did come at a cost, however, as three Boxers were injured during the match, including Lopes, who will be out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). Pacific’s men’s soccer team is currently 7-4-0 overall and 4-3-0 in Northwest Conference play.