WWU begins campaign with 2-1 loss at No.23 Chico State
Aug. 30, 2012
CHICO, Calif. - Western Washington University gave a good account of itself in a 2-1 loss to nationally ranked Chico State University on Thursday in a West Regional men's soccer match-up at University Soccer Stadium.
The non-conference contest was the season opener for both schools.
"We played hard and it was a great game," said WWU coach Travis Connell. "I told the team afterward that it's the little things that determine games sometimes when two good teams are playing. Tonight they did the little things better and it turned out being a win for them."
"But we showed a lot that we can build on and I'm looking forward to our next game."
Chico State, ranked No.23 in the National Soccer Coaches of America Association NCAA Division II Preseason Top 25 Poll, has won the last two California Collegiate Athletic Association North Division Championships.
The Wildcats' first goal came in the 66th minute as Kramer Runager flicked a shot inside the far post.
Chico State took a 2-0 lead in the 73rd minute, Luis Martinez beating a defender and scoring from 10 yards inside the near post.
WWU cut the deficit to one in the 83rd minute as Justin Moore (Sr., Port Orchard/South Kitsap) put a shot past Wildcat goaltender Sam Evans. Andrew Weishaar (Jr., Puyallup) was credited with an assist.
The Vikings were outshot 17-8.
WWU next plays Saturday (4 p.m.) at Notre Dame de Namur University.
Western Washington vs. Chico State Date: 08/30/12 Attendance: 525 Goals by Period 1 2 Total Western Washington 0 1 --- 1 Chico State 0 2 --- 2 SCORING SUMMARY: Chico State - Runager (Guzman), 65:39 Chico State - Martinez (Story), 72:51 WWU - Moore (Weishaar), 82:55 Shots: Western Washington 8, Chico State 17 Corner kicks: Western Washington 3, Chico State 4 Fouls: Western Washington 13, Chico State 14 Saves: Western Washington 3 (Rogers 3), Chico State 2 (Evans 2 )
CHICO STATE ATHLETICS
Runager sparks Wildcats' season-opening win
True freshman Story doles out assist
As soon as Kramer made his entrance it turned into a laugher. But this was no Seinfeld episode. It was the Chico State men's soccer team's 2012 season opener.
Kramer Runager flicked home the game's first goal in the 66th minute - only 2:16 after he entered as a second-half substitute - and the host Wildcats scored again 10 minutes later before hanging on for a 2-1 victory over visiting Western Washington Thursday night at University Soccer Stadium.
A match that had featured little continuity over its opening hour quickly turned heavily Chico State's way after Runager's entrance. And when Octavio Guzman targeted the Wildcats' Foothill Community College transfer on a driving free kick, Runager took advantage with a nifty back-of-the-head flick that wound up nestled nicely in the netting near the far post.
Runager nearly notched an assist moments later but Luis Martinez misfired from 15 yards. Martinez got another chance soon after andthis time he was on target. The play was set up when the Wildcats moved theball into the right side of the box where a cluster of bodies came together. True freshman Ethan Story displayed great vision, finding Martinez alone in the opposite corner of the box. Martinez did the rest, quickly stepping around a defender and then easily beating the goalkeeper to the near post from 10 yards out.
Western Washington's Justin Moore gave the Vikings hope when he got behind the defense and then around Wildcats' goalkeeper Sam Evans to cut Chico State's lead to 2-1 in the 83rd minute. But a stifling Wildcats defense that allowed just eight shots on the evening made the leadstand up.
Evans, who became the eighth Chico State goalkeeper to win his 20th career match, made two saves. His teammates fired away at the goal 17 times. The Wildcats also enjoyed a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks in beating the Vikings for the sixth straight time.
Western Washington, picked to finish fourth in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference's Preseason Coaches' Poll, was also playing its first match of the season.
Chico State will take on No. 11 Seattle Pacific Saturday at 7 p.m. in what is sure to be one of the matches of the year at University Soccer Stadium.
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