Bucs, Bruins Battle to 1-1 Draw

Bucs, Bruins Battle to 1-1 Draw

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates scored an early goal, but were unable to add another in a 1-1 tie with the George Fox Bruins. 

The draw was Whitworth's (5-10-4, 4-6-3 NWC) third of Northwest Conference play, the last of which came in similar fashion against Willamette. The Bruins (2-11-4, 1-8-4 NWC) left the match with a result after falling 4-0 to Whitworth earlier in the year.

The Pirates started the match aggressively, getting early shots on goal from Chase Reidt, Jose Bautista and Zanskar Blair, though both were saved by Bruin goalkeeper Cole Benton.

Azzam Azzam got the Pirates on the scoreboard in the 22nd minute. The sophomore capitalized on a tapped pass from Jose Bautista after Bautista was screened out of a through ball. He fought through the defender just enough to touch a pass up to Azzam, who buried the shot from 10 yards out.

After Azzam's goal, the Pirates struggled to connect passes in the attacking third. Whitworth was able to get just one shot for the remainder of the half, which Aaron Yanagi sent high.

The Bruins came out of halftime aggressively and tied the match in the 48th minute. Jeremy Ravelo-Ramano forced Ty Cardinale to make a defensive save on the back line, and Bryce Towne found the ball in the chaos before inching it into the net.

Both teams had opportunities to score in the second half, but neither could convert and the match went into overtime. 

Zanskar Blair had the best chance to end the match with a golden goal. The junior got on the end of a cross from Yanagi and sent a near-perfect header towards the far-post. Benton made an even better save, knocking the shot away with just an inch to spare to save the tie. 

In fitting fashion, the two teams finished the match tied in shots (15 each) and shots on goal (9 each). The Bruins took two more corner kicks than the Bucs.

Whitworth closes its season Saturday, Nov. 3 at Whitman. The Pirates and Blues are scheduled to kick off at 6:00 p.m.