SPOKANE, Wash. - Karl Muelheims scored a hat trick to lead Whitworth during the third-highest scoring game in school history as the Pirates trounced the University of Minnesota Morris, 9-0, on Saturday at the Puma Whitworth Classic.
Whitworth (2-0) dominated the possession battle and took a 3-0 lead to halftime before exploding for six goals in the final 15 minutes of the match against the Cougars (0-3). Tanner Stepp scored twice to go along with goals from Alfredo Ornelas, Sam Engle and Samual Jarrett in the victory.
"For our team to bring a huge amount of grit from the start of the game was massive, so I was very pleased with their start to the game and more pleased with their finish -- because that's where the hard work pays off," head coach Morgan Cathey said.
Muelheims gave Whitworth an early lead by netting two goals in a span of a minute and 10 seconds. The first goal came in the 18th minute when Muelheims took a long through-ball pass from Jonah Snyder and finished after working his way around the goalkeeper in the left side of the 18-yard box. The Pirates quickly regained possession following the goal and Muelheims netted an unassisted goal from close range in the 19th minute.
Minnesota Morris struggled to gain possession and was further disadvantage in its ability to do so when Jacob Sphatt was issued a red card after a hard tackle in the 28th minute, leaving the Cougars with 10 players for the remainder of the contest.
The score remained at 2-0 until the 39th minute when Rylan Berriman sent in a cross from the right side of the field and found Ornelas who drilled the ball into the net from close range.
The Pirates continued to threaten offensively through much of the second half and totaled six goals in a span of less than 10 minutes between the 76th minute and 85th minute.
Whitworth found the back of the net in the 76th minute when Stepp scored off a rebounded shot sent toward the goal from Muelheims. Engle scored his second goal in as many matches just a few minutes later, finishing with a goal after his first shot attempt rebounded off the Minnesota Morris goalkeeper and back to him during the 78th minute.
Muelheims completed his hat trick in the 80th minute, scoring from close distance off an assist from Stepp. Jarrett's goal came in the 82nd minute, as he drilled home a shot from just inside the 18-yard box.
The Pirates' eighth goal came via an own goal in the 84th minute as a free kick sent into the box was accidentally headed into the goal by a Cougar defender. Johnny Thayer assisted the match's final goal, crossing a ball to Stepp who scored from close distance in the 85th minute.
The nine-goal total ranked among the all-time best offensive performances by a Whitworth team -- the Pirates have scored 13 goals in a match twice previously, most recently against Cal Maritime in 1999.
Muelheims has scored five goals through two matches after scoring twice against Northwest University (Wash.) on Friday. He became the 10th Whitworth player to record a hat trick with his performance Saturday, and the first since Micheal Ramos scored three goals against George Fox University last season.
"This weekend three or four of his (Muelheims) goals were plays that he followed up and didn't stop -- he's the kind of guy that the ball finds him," Cathey said of Muelheims. "And he's pretty precise once he finds the ball."
Minnesota Morris was held without a single shot or corner kick during the match. Whitworth totaled 39 shots in the match, including 18 shots on goal. The Pirates also had 12 corner kick opportunities.
The Pirates defeated Northwest (Wash.), 3-1, on Friday to record two wins in the Puma Whitworth Classic. Northwest finished the weekend 1-1, bouncing back to top Pacific (Ore.) on Saturday by a final score of 3-1. Pacific also went 1-1 on the weekend. The Boxers earned a 1-0 over Minnesota Morris on Friday.
The Pirates have two more non-conference matches remaining on the schedule before the conference season begins. Whitworth will face the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor on Thursday, Sept. 10, in a neutral-site contest on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University. The non-conference schedule concludes with another neutral-site match against UC Santa Cruz at Willamette University on Sunday, Sept. 13.
Northwest (Wash.) 3, Pacific (Ore.) 1
Kyle Zimmerman scored twice in the opening 20 minutes of the match and Northwest went on to top Pacific, 3-1, during the first match of the day on Saturday.
Zimmerman scored in the 2nd minute, catching the Pacific goalkeeper out of position after an errant pass in the Pacific back line. He doubled the lead for the Eagles (1-3) in the 19th minute off an assist from Ryan Gamache.
Pacific (1-2) cut the lead to 2-1 with a goal in the 51st minute from Kellan McNamara, who finished a sequence that began with a free kick opportunity in the attacking third of the field. Elan Yogi assisted the goal.
Chris Iacolucci extended the Northwest lead in the 61st minute with a long-range shot from roughly 30 yards away, hooking a shot from the left side of the field to the upper-right corner of the goal.
Leyton Thommasen collected five saves for Pacific while Daniel Christenson totaled three saves for Northwest.