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SLOW FIRST HALF GIVES PIRATES EDGE OVER SPARTANS

MEN'S SOCCER (PRE-SEASON)
THURSDAY, AUGUST 21, 2014
TRINITY WESTERN (1) AT WHITWORTH (3) 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

SLOW FIRST HALF GIVES PIRATES EDGE OVER SPARTANS

SPOKANE, Washington – Midfielder Cam Parkes got the first goal of the season for Trinity Western University, but Whitworth University responded with three first half goals to claim a 3-1 win over the Spartans Thursday afternoon in Spokane, Washington. 

"We are disappointed in our performance in the first half, but the bright light is that we recovered and played better in the second, but were unable to capitalize on our chances," commented TWU head coach Pat Rohla. It is not how we wanted to start, but credit to Whitworth they are a fine team and will be one of the top NCAA Div. 3 teams in the USA." 

Parkes opened the scoring in the fourth minute on a tough angle after a nice pass from midfielder Braden Gant. However, for the next 20 minutes the Spartans defensive shape was not sound as the Pirates countered with three goals in nine minutes to put Whitworth up 3-1. Scoring for the Pirates were: Michael Ramos (22nd, 30th), Samuel Engle (27th).

"They were three preventable goals, not our best outage, but considering we had seven or eight guys who have been injured and not seen any action in over nine months we were okay. As a result we have a lot of work to do to get to game fitness," said Rohla. 

TWU would end the first 45 trailing 3-1 and on the wrong side of the scoring opportunities with Whitworth holding a 9-4 edge in shots and a 2-0 edge in corners. 

The Spartans gathered themselves in the second half and had the better of the play outshooting the Pirates 10-5. Despite having a number of "A" quality chances TWU was unable to get any more strikes behind Whitworth keepers Tony Waters and Shane Nishioka-Healy. 

"Our rust showed in the first half and they played through us easily, but around the 30 minute mark we tightened up and we got better. The second half we were quite a bit better," added Rohla. "We have lots of room for growth, as it usually is in the pre-season, but we have a lot to work with as well." 

TWU keeper Andrew Hicks played the full 90 minutes for the Spartans and made six saves in the loss, while Tony Waters made one save in the first half to record the win, with his teammate Shane Nishioka-Healy making three saves in the second half.

The Spartans will now head to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho were they will face the Northern Idaho Cardinals for a match tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 p.m. TWU will then return to Spokane to take on NCAA Div. I Gonzaga University on Saturday at 5 p.m. 

Trinity Western opens Canada West conference play on Friday, September 5 when they will host the Fraser Valley Cascades.

Match Notes: Forward Vitaliano Poletto led the Spartans with four shots, while Engle and Ramos each had three shots for the Pirates… Whitworth ended the contest with a 4-2 advantage in corner kicks…TWU had 23 players see action in today's friendly…

-TW-