SALEM, OR (GoGeoducks.com) – Juancarlos Oropeza scored the winning goal in the 86th minute Saturday night as The Evergreen State College took a 2-1 non-conference men’s soccer victory over the host Willamette Bearcats at Sparks Field.
Oropeza’s goal boosted the Geoducks to a 3-0-0 record while Willamette falls to 1-3-1 with the defeat.
The Geoducks opened the scoring in the 38th minute on freshman Ryan Porch’s second goal of the season. Defender Nate Boatright assisted on the goal, which came when Porch’s 14-yard effort found the lower left corner of the goal. Porch is the first Evergreen player to score more than one goal this season and with five points is the team’s leading scorer at this point in the season.
Willamette tied the score less than two minutes into the second half, at 46:56 in fact, when Alan Hernandez took a pass from Jack Elton and finished for his first tally of the season.
Oropeza, a junior defender from Aberdeen, won the game with his first goal of the season, following up a saved shot and tapping it into the goal. Tanner Williams was credited with the assist, his second this season, when Braydon Calder stopped but couldn’t corral his shot.
“It was a great game,” Evergreen head coach John Purtteman said. “Willamette came out as a great contrast in style. We stepped out higher and gave them trouble and made some good runs behind the defense and had some really nice goals.”
The Geoducks finished the match with 18 shots, six of which were on goal, compared to 12 total shots, three on goal, for the Bearcats. Statistics showed that Evergreen had the better of the play in the second half, getting 11 shots and five corner kicks compared to seven shots and one corner for the hosts during the final 45 minutes.
Evergreen senior goalkeeper Angel Guerra picked up one save and was helped when his defense cleared another goal-bound shot off the line. Willamette’s Calder ended up with four saves.
The Geoducks open Cascade Collegiate Conference play next weekend with a pair of road games. They play Eastern Oregon in La Grande, Ore., at 5:30 p.m. Friday, and then take on Warner Pacific in Portland at the late starting time of 10 p.m. on Saturday.