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					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:


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’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:
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
                                                   a starter.
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
                                                                                                                                                                                           EmILY SCHLIEmAN
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:


     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

     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.
   Chino, California

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