Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College Men's Soccer team got 2018 off on the right foot Friday night as the freshmen shined in a 1-0 shutout win over Division I Bethesda University.
The Purple & Gold move to 1-0 on the young season, while Bethesda drops to 1-2-1.
Whittier controlled the game from start to finish winning the battle on shots (18-10) and corner kicks (6-2).
They tested Flames goalie Yuri Mussi and the defensive unit from the early stages forcing them into a combined nine save opportunities.
Interview with defensive captain Parker McDonald
Bethesda came out and fired off three quick shots in the first ten minutes forcing freshman Poet keeper Teddy Nickerson (Seattle, WA) to come up with three of his own saves. After that though the defensive unit stood strong limiting Bethesda to just seven shots over the next 80 minutes.
Luis Espitia (Paramount, Calif.) got into the mix soon after launching a shot from just outside the box but again it would be denied as Mussi kept the game scoreless. Nine minutes later though the Purple & Gold would connect this time as Matt Slee (Bothell, WA) would find freshman Hayden Barnouw (Seattle, WA) far post for the header putting WC on top going into the break.
In the second half, the Poets continued to force the issue earning multiple opportunities to cushion that lead. Freshman Johan Telkamp (Seattle, WA) in the first three minutes had an opportunity in front of the goal but was unlucky as the shot would deflect off a foot of a Bethesda defender. He then returned five minutes later and put another on frame but this time Mussi was able to come up big with the deflection.
Abou Hashish and Telkamp combined for another two looks within a two-minute stretch soon after but again Mussi proved tough denying both. In the 81st minute Whittier's Miguel Alvarez (Temecula, Calif.) received a cross far post and was able to get a head on it but it would go just wide keeping it a one-goal contest.
The best look for the equalizer from Bethesda came in the 83rd minute as Renan Santos took a clean strike from on top of the box. But Nickerson again played big making a diving save to preserve the win and his first collegiate shutout.
Telkamp led the offense with four shots, two being on goal. Halpin finished with three with another two being on frame and Barnouw and Erik Dimas (Pomona, Calif.) each registered two.
Nickerson played all 90:00 minutes collecting five saves.
Whittier returns to the field tonight, Saturday, September 1 in a Division III West Regional showdown with Linfield College. The pitch set to begin at 7:00pm.