by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – After finishing out the first half of the Northwest Conference season with a pair of wins, Whitworth men's soccer begins the second half of the season in Oregon this weekend.
The Pirates open the second half of NWC play on Saturday, Oct. 14 against Linfield. Then, they head to Salem to battle Willamette on Sunday, Oct. 15. Both matches begin at 2:30 p.m.
The Whitworth men's soccer schedule will have live links to this weekend's matches.
The Pirates: After a 1-3-1 start to Northwest Conference play, Whitworth (5-6-1, 3-3-1 NWC) bounced back to win their last two matches against Linfield and Whitman.
Jonah Snyder led the Pirates to their victory over the Blues. He assisted on the Pirates first goal of the match and then scored Whitworth's match-winning goal in the 84th minute. The Pirates won 3-2.
Chasing History: The Pirates are looking to make history this season. The men's soccer program has never won four consecutive Northwest Conference championships, and after titles in 2014, 2015, and 2016 this season's Pirates have a chance to be the first to win four straight.
How May We Assist You: The Pirates' league-leading offense is facilitated by league-leading passing, leading the Northwest Conference with 21 assists. Snyder and Austin Cassity sit atop the individual assists leaderboard with five each.
Student-Athlete of the Month: After a steller September in which he totaled up 11 points with four goals and three assists, Snyder was recently named the Whitworth / Subway men's soccer athlete of the month. This is the third time Snyder has earned student-athlete of the month recognition.
The Wildcats: Linfield (2-9, 0-7 NWC) is still winless in NWC play after dropping their most recent match to Willamette 1-0.
The Wildcats struggle on defense, having allowed one goal or less only twice this season. Ryan Kister is Linfield's best shot at making up for the defense. Kister is second in the Northwest Conference in goals with six.
The Wildcats last played the Pirates on October 1. Moi Diaz led Whitworth to a 3-1 victory with two goals and one assist.
The Bearcats: Willamette (7-3-1, 6-0-1 NWC) sits atop the conference with an undefeated record in NWC play. Since they played the Pirates on September 30, the Bearcats have tied with Whitman 1-1 and defeated Linfield 1-0.
Alan Hernandez, whose four assists are second to Cassity and Snyder in the Northwest Conference, paces the Bearcats, and Marco Gonzalez-Yanez makes sure all of Hernandez's work on offense doesn't go to waste. Gonzalez-Yanez leads the conference in shutouts.
Last time the Bearcats and Pirates squared off, Willamette came away with the win. Diaz scored Whitworth's lone goal in a 3-1 defeat.
Looking Ahead: After their trip to Oregon, the Pirates return home to take on Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound. Whitworth takes on the Lutes on Saturday, Oct. 21 and battles the Loggers Sunday, Oct. 22.