by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Three goals in the second half propelled the Whitworth Pirates to a dominating 4-0 victory over the George Fox Bruins in both teams' Northwest Conference opener.
The shutout was the second of the year for the Pirates (2-4-1, 1-0 NWC) and Friday night's match was third time that the Bruins (1-4, 0-1) have been held scoreless.
"The guys were very good at asserting themselves from the start of the game today," said Whitworth head coach Morgan Cathey. "Our ability to vary how and where we attacked was really good tonight."
Whitworth kicked off the match's scoring in the 24th minute. Zanskar Blair recovered a blocked shot and sent a pass to Drew Williams, who buried his third goal of the year to give Whitworth a 1-0 lead.
After a slow end to the first half, the Pirate offense got back into gear early in the second. Ethan Kem got free for a cross, which Scott Penner finished to put the Bucs up 2-0. The goal was Penner's first as a Pirate and came off Kem's second assist of the year.
Two freshman continued the second half scoring barrage with Drew Wilson scoring on a recovered miss in the 72nd minute and Luke Denke adding Whitworth's fourth and final goal in the 87th minute. Denke's goal was his first as a Pirate.
Whitworth totaled 18 shots and 11 shots on goal during the match. Kem led the team in attempts, firing away three times with two shots requiring saves from Bruin goalkeepers. Micah Rickard had George Fox's only shot on goal.
"I was really proud of the collective effort tonight and felt all of our players contributed," said Cathey.
Up next, the Pirates travel to Forest Grove, Ore. to take on Pacific (Ore.). The Bucs and Boxers square off at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 16.