8 COLLEGIAN SPORTS NOvEmbEr 11, 2009
Bearcats wrap up best season
since 2004, beat George Fox
JOHN LIND another tough task against then-second
CONTRIBUTOR place George Fox. For two Willamette
Women’s volleyball closed out the seniors – McGraw and Julie Stutzman – it
2009 season with a pair of games against was their final collegiate match. Both were
two of the top teams in the Northwest honored in a pregame ceremony.
Conference. Riding a hot streak that had “Before the game, I had one mission:
seen them win five of six matches heading play as hard as I could for as long as I
into the weekend, the Bearcats battled both could,” McGraw said. “More than anything,
opponents and came out of their season I wanted to enjoy every minute, every play
finale with a split. and every point.”
The first test for Willamette (11-13, 8-8 Both seniors wanted a win, especially
NWC) was a Friday night match against against a team that had beaten them earlier
the NWC’s top team: Pacific Lutheran. in the season.
Despite the Lutes carrying an undefeated And win they did. From start to finish,
conference record and a #15 national Willamette left no doubt, thrashing
ranking into the game, Willamette Head George Fox (17-7, 10-6 NWC) in a three-
Coach Tom Shoji and his team were hardly game sweep, 25-18, 25-23, 25-18. In her last
intimidated. The Bearcats controlled match as a Bearcat, McGraw accumulated
nearly every aspect of Friday’s game but 14 kills and 15 digs.
were barely edged by the visiting Lutes, 19- The first game was all Willamette.
25, 25-14, 20-25, 25-23, 15-9. Powerful kills by McGraw and Molly
The Bearcats came out hard against Blankenship gave the Bearcats solid control
PLU (20-6, 16-0 NWC), winning the first of the set, and a service ace by freshman
set in a dominant fashion and rolling Kathy Lee Glenn – one of nine Bearcat
behind a .387 hitting percentage against service aces in the match – sealed the set
the surprised Lutes. After a dreary second one win.
set, Willamette bounced back in the third, The Bruins fought back in game
rallying behind the consistent offense of two, jumping out to a 3-1 lead and later
senior Jessie McGraw. McGraw notched owning a 16-12 advantage, but Willamette
six kills with no errors and a .500 hitting equalized, then took the lead on a GFU
percentage in the game to give Willamette attacking error. A late, desperate run by
a 2-1 lead. George Fox knotted the score at 22 and 23,
The fourth set was neck and neck, with but Blankenship and Stutzman teamed on
the Bearcats and Lutes trading runs, both a critical block to retake the lead for good. mArCO FIALLO
Much like the first set, the Bearcats never Senior Jessie mcGraw (24) led Willamette with 34 kills and 36 digs over the weekend. bridget miller (2)
keeping the score close and the crowd on had 88 assists, and Jaci Abeloe (9) also played.
the edge of its seats. But a critical run by trailed in game three, and although GFU got
PLU in the later stages of the game gave within a point several times, Willamette was “After the game, I had only one thought,” Bearcats’ future looks extremely bright.
them a 21-16 lead, setting up the decisive clearly in control. A game-ending service ace McGraw said. “Of all my time in organized “Our record speaks for itself,” McGraw
fifth set. by Brigit Miller sealed both the win and a sports, I have never had the privilege of said. “Our battles with higher-ranked
The Bearcats certainly did not lack heart positive end to the season. playing with a better group of people. Every teams and our 6-2 finish in the second half
or effort in the final game, but the team Blankenship had 16 kills along with girl on this team is a testament to teamwork of the season speaks for the magnitude of
could not quite keep up with the Lutes’ seven each from Stutzman and freshman and selflessness.” this team’s potential, talent and especially
momentum, and a morale-killing 5-1 PLU Madisyn Leenstra to go with McGraw’s Willamette volleyball’s rapid turn- heart. I have no doubt this team will
run did Willamette in as the Lutes took the impressive statline. Brigit Miller had around – from winless in the NWC just continue to push Bearcat volleyball to the
game and the match. McGraw led Bearcats’ another outstanding night with 41 assists two years ago to 8-8 this season – has top every year.”
effort with 20 kills and 21 digs. and three service aces. Stutzman also been remarkable, and with such promising
The next night, Willamette faced contributed a team-high four blocks. freshman and sophomore classes, the Contact: email@example.com
Lightning, thunder can’t stop dominant Willamette
TIm WALSH to a three-and-out, the Bearcats marched 28-0 halftime lead on an acrobatic, twisting never seen anything like that,” Speckman
SPORTS EDITOR 70 yards in 13 plays on a textbook opening catch by Schoettgen. said. “It was kind of a surreal deal.”
With the third quarter winding down drive to take a 7-0 lead. But the real story of the first half was The storm abated, however, and inside
and Willamette driving deep in Puget In a sign of things to come, Scott Willamette’s defense, which held the Puget Sound’s Memorial Fieldhouse,
Sound territory, an ominous black cloud Schoettgen caught four passes from Loggers’ to two first downs, six punts officials and coaches decided to resume the
darkened the sky at Baker Stadium in Brian Widing – including the touchdown and 38 yards in the entire period. Despite game after an hour-long delay. Jake Turner
Tacoma. As lightning crackled in the – as UPS’ young, undersized defensive the Loggers employing two different finished off the Bearcats’ interrupted
distance and the period came to a close backs struggled with Schoettgen’s offensive sets, the Bearcat front seven drive with a touchdown, and a number of
game, officials ordered the players off height and speed. refused to bite on any fakes, leveling both backups saw playing time on Willamette’s
the field. “We liked our match-ups,” Speckman Puget Sound quarterbacks multiple times final possession, which Jose Green finished
In doing so, they accomplished said. “They’re pretty young on the during the half. with a two-yard scamper. Between the two
something UPS failed to do all day: perimeter, and we took advantage of it.” “When you play UPS, it’s assignment Bearcat scores, the Loggers picked up two
stopping Willamette’s offense. A second Willamette drive went 64 football,” Speckman said, “and our guys of their six total first downs and 51 of their
Putting to rest any question of a yards in nine plays, capped off by Jamiere played their assignments pretty flawlessly.” 125 yards of offense, scoring their only
“Linfield hangover,” the Bearcats turned in Abney’s three yard touchdown run. But The third quarter saw more of the touchdown of the day.
their most dominant performance of the the most important moment, on the same: Puget Sound failed to gain even one In spite of the weather, Widing and
year, a 50-6 win over hapless Puget Sound. possession, might have been Widing’s first down, despite recovering a fumble Ramay finished a combined 21-31 for
Willamette (7-2, 4-1 Northwest Conference) heady play on fourth down at the UPS inside the Willamette 40. The Bearcats, 333 yards and four touchdowns – all to
rolled up 552 yards of offense, held UPS three, where the freshman’s quick thinking by contrast, tacked on a Mitchell Rowan Schoettgen, who out gained the entire UPS
(0-8, 0-5) to just 125 yards, and cruised to got the ball snapped just before the play field goal to stretch the lead to 31-0, and offense with 135 yards receiving.
a statement win that bumped them up to clock expired. Widing tossed a gorgeous ball over the top Behind it all, of course, was the Bearcats’
22nd in D3football.com’s poll. Backup Kevin Ramay took over to start to Schoettgen for his fourth touchdown incredible defense, led by a dominant line
“I was really proud of how we played,” the second quarter, but his first possession catch of the day. and outstanding linebackers. Perhaps
Head Coach Mark Speckman said. “For a stalled, and Mitchell Rowan’s field goal was But with lightning and thunder most remarkably, not one defensive player
while it looked like we were wearing cleats wide left. But the Bearcats were moving looming over the stadium, the teams were delivered a stand alone performance – gang
and they weren’t.” the ball at will, and Willamette’s next sent to their locker rooms at the end of the tackling and team defense were hallmarks
Conditions on Baker Stadium’s natural possession saw Schoettgen make a terrific third period. As the storm drew closer, of the game.
grass surface could hardly have been adjustment to an underthrown pass in the UPS officials evacuated the stadium itself, “It’s tough to single out any one of those
worse – several hours of rain had almost end zone, putting the Bearcats on top 21-0. and with hail pummeling the field, there guys,” Speckman said. “It was just a solid
completely washed out the “PS” logo at Another underthrown pass by Ramay was was some doubt as to whether the game performance all around.”
midfield. But a cold, dry wind was blowing picked off, but the freshman led a superb would continue.
at kickoff, and after holding Puget Sound two-minute drill that gave Willamette a “In all my years playing or coaching, I’ve Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOvEmbEr 11, 2009 SPORTS COLLEGIAN 9
Overtime goal lifts men
Tatlock leads women past Pacific Lutheran
CAmErON mITCHELL defense and midfield for Willamette. In
STAFF WRITER 2009, Lagatutta finished with three goals
and a team-high six assists. He recorded
Men’s soccer four goals and seven assists in four years as
In a thrilling end to Willamette’s most
successful season in five years, sophomore
Erik Kaufman’s goal with five seconds 4Casey Dineen: A second team All-
left in the first overtime pushed surging NWC selection in 2008, Dineen scored six
Willamette (5-9, 15 points) over local goals in 2009, and ended his career with
rivals Linfield in last Saturday’s match at nine goals and four assists. A starter since
Sparks Field. his freshman season, Dineen has logged
The Bearcats, who suffered an 5617 minutes for Willamette.
embarrassing 5-1 defeat to the Wildcats 4Andrew Monboquette: Monboquette
earlier this season, opened the scoring played in 35 games, including 14 starts in
with Kaufman’s first goal – his eighth three years on the team. He finished his Senior midfielder Luke Lagattuta makes an impressive tackle against Linfield.
of the season – in the 15th minute. But career with two goals and one assist.
Linfield (4-10, 12 points) equalized in the 4Ivan Gutierrez: Gutierrez has been an Sunday’s overtime setback against goals. In addition to her five career assists,
78th with a 24-yard blast past keeper Eben emotional leader for the Bearcats, starting the Boxers (6-8-2, 20 points) was a Rosenthal added two goals and her aggressive,
Hellekson. 34 matches after coming off the bench his disappointing conclusion to the season. physical midfield play will be missed.
But the Bearcats rallied, and Kaufman’s freshman season. He scored three goals Emily Wigington opened the scoring 4Beth Tatlock: Tatlock, a midfielder,
golden goal with five seconds left in the extra and had two assists in his career. for Willamette in the 72nd minute but had a game-winning goal at PLU last
period ended the season for both teams. Pacific forced overtime by scoring just eight season. She scored six times in her Bearcat
Freshman Etienne Galbreath latched onto WoMen’s soccer minutes later, then stole a victory when career and finished with five assists.
a long ball from Luke Lagatutta, crossing Two weekend matches capped off the the Bearcats failed to clear a corner kick. 4Emily Wigington: Wigington,
to Kaufman, who put the ball into the net. women’s soccer season, with the Bearcats Despite the loss, Willamette ended the Willamette’s defensive anchor, scored her
The win propelled the Bearcats into fifth (8-7-1, 25 points) defeating Pacific Lutheran 2009 season in third place in the NWC, second goal on Saturday at Pacific. But her
place in the Northwest Conference, their 3-1 in their home finale on Friday, before duplicating its 2008 finish. play inside Willamette’s defensive third
best finish since 2004. falling to upstart Pacific 2-1 on Saturday in The team bids farewell to five seniors, will be most remembered, as the Bearcats
Five Willamette seniors played in their Forest Grove. all of whom have impacted the program. posted 13 shutouts in the last two years.
final collegiate game Saturday. Senior Beth Tatlock was the star of 4Rachel Janny: The forward from
Friday’s cold, windy match, scoring two 4Stazzy Groleau: Groleau played in 55
4Mark Bennett: A goalie from Olympia, Washington overcame a major
goals and tallying one assist. Tatlock opened games for the Bearcats, including 14 starts,
Salt Lake City, Bennett played in 60 knee injury and has become a top player
the scoring in just the seventh minute and and was part of a defense that allowed only
matches in his four years with the for Willamette. Janny scored three times
doubled the lead in the 21st. Tatlock then 22 goals in 2009. Earlier this season, an
Bearcats. He recorded 208 saves, five in 2009, and finished her career with eight
fed a goal by sophomore Kimber Mattox amazing header from Groleau to Janny tied
wins and was a consistent vocal leader goals and three assists.
in the 69th minute, making the lead 3-0, a match against Whitman with just one
as well as a team captain. 4Haley Rosenthal: Rosenthal, the
before Pacific Lutheran (4-10-1, 13 points) minute remaining.
4Luke Lagatutta: Also a team captain, Bearcats’ set-piece specialist, marked her
Lagatutta, from Albuquerque, played pulled a late goal back. career with great crosses that often led to Contact: email@example.com
Game Day #10|
#24 Willamette Bearcats vs. Menlo Oaks
WHEN: 12:00 p.m. Saturday
WHERE: Conner Athletic Field, Atherton, California
RECORDS: #22 Willamette 7-2, 4-1 NWC; Menlo 4-5, 3-2 NWC
ON THE AIR: Webcast at www.willamette.edu/athletics
BRIEFLY: The Bearcats remain an outside shot for NCAA playoff
consideration, pending a number of outcomes in the final week of the
season. Despite an earlier ban on playoff discussion, Speckman says it is
impossible to ignore.
“You can’t really put it out of your mind,” Speckman said. “It’s frustrating.
We’re better than some teams that are probably going to make it … but we
lost control against Linfield. We’re ready, though, if we get the call.”
Of course, in order to merit any playoff consideration at all, Willamette
first has to beat Menlo, an NWC enigma over the past several weeks.
Defensively solid all year long, the Oaks’ offense has had difficulty finding
a rhythm after losing starting quarterback Nick Ruhl for the season in
a game against Linfield. Still, Menlo scored an impressive 14-10 win at
Whitworth on Oct. 24, but just one week later struggled to get past Lewis
& Clark at home.
“They’re athletic, and they’ve got a very good defense,” Speckman said.
“I think they’re struggling a little bit to find an offensive identity.”
For Speckman in particular, games in Atherton have a special
significance: an alumnus of Menlo from its days as a junior college,
Speckman was inducted into the Oaks’ Hall of Fame this fall.
“It’s fun to go back. I look up and see my dorm room, where I did my
work study … it’s a bizarre little place.”
6 next up
Football @ Menlo, 12:00 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 14
Cross Country @ NCAA West Rugby vs. Southern Oregon
Regional @McCulloch Stadium, 1:30 p.m.