SPOKANE— (www.WhitworthPirates.com) Rylan Berriman‘s match-winner in overtime capped another comeback win for Whitworth as the Pirates won their home opener, 2-1 over Corban University on Saturday afternoon.
Whitworth (4-0-0) has trailed in three of four matches played this season and overcame a halftime deficit to edge Corban (2-2-0).
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The Warriors jumped to an early lead when Josh Noonkester took a pass from Bobby Hutchin on the left side in the box and finished to the right corner of the goal in the 12th minute.
Whitworth outshot Corban 13-7 in the second half but the Warriors held the Pirates to one goal until Berriman found the back of the net in overtime.
Berriman’s goal came in the 97th minute, as the Whitworth offense showed patience to switch the ball across the top of the box. Berriman found a seam in the middle of the field near the top of the box and finished to the near post before being mobbed by the Whitworth team and students seated on the hill behind the goal. The score came with Corban playing down a man following a red card ejection near the end of the second half.
“It was one of the first times we were really patient to find the extra player,” head coach Morgan Cathey said. “They lost a player due to the red card and so we were able to switch the ball and find Rylan in a good pocket of space. It was a great individual effort from him to drive across the goal and take a high-percentage shot.”
The Warriors were down a player after Kellen Luey was given a red card in the 84th minute for pulling down a Whitworth player on a long lead pass breakaway opportunity. Three other Corban players were given yellow cards in the physical match. The Warriors committed 16 fouls compared with six for Whitworth.
Tony Watters made four saves for Whitworth, including a diving stop with less than three minutes to play in the second half when Hutchin received a crossing pass and found himself alone in the box with a one-on-one opportunity against Watters.
Cathey credited Corban for a great effort in the match and for taking advantage of Whitworth mistakes to put pressure on the Pirates and score in the first half.
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“It’s a learning process,” Cathey said. “Now they (Whitworth) believe they can score those goals even with their back against the wall and that is a good thing. But you hope that it comes when you’re being outplayed and I think we hurt ourselves today — we just weren’t sharp in the first half.”
The Pirates held a 20-13 shot advantage, but each team generated five shots on goal.
Whitworth will travel to Salem, Ore., next weekend for a neutral-site match against UC Santa Cruz on Sept. 14. The Northwest Conference schedule will begin the following weekend with a pair of contests at home against Linfield and Willamette.