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October 12, 2010

Lutes Host Important Matches, Look For First

THIS WEEK:  After a hard-fought 3-0 win against bitter rivals, the University of Puget Sound, the Pacific Lutheran University men's soccer team is now 5-2 (6-5-1 overall) in Northwest Conference play and just one point off of first place in the table. Ahead for the Lutes are two perennially tough opponents in the Whitworth University Pirates and the Whitman College Missionaries.  Whitworth is up first for PLU when they visit on Saturday.  The two teams met earlier this season, with the Pirates getting the upper hand in a 4-3 win in Spokane.  The three goals from the Lutes have been the most that an opponent has scored on the Pirates in Spokane since they defeated George Fox in 2007 (4-3).  The Pirates are led by their junior midfielder Cameron Bushey, who has three goals and five assists for the season.  Whitworth is sitting in third through the first half of the NWC schedule, but is just two points off the Lutes for second.  On Sunday, the Lutes will face the Whitman College Missionaries.  Whitman is sitting in sixth place, yet is only one win away from moving into the third place spot that Whitworth holds.  In the first match between the Lutes and Missionaries, PLU came out strong, scoring two goals in the first ten minutes, and won the game 3-0 in Walla Walla.  Chad Kearns struck early for the Lutes, followed by goals from Spencer Augustin and Surafel Wodajo to seal the victory.  Leland Mattaeus leads the Missionaries with three goals and four assists.  Each game will be played at 2:30 P.M. on Saturday and Sunday. 

QUICK OFF THE MARK:  For the sixth time this season, the Lutes scored a goal within the first 15 minutes of the game.  Giancarlo Santoro's goal at 12:06 against UPS was the latest strike for the Lutes. 

PLU 3, UPS 0:  Pacific Lutheran knocked off cross-town rival Puget Sound, 3-0, in a Northwest Conference men's soccer match played Sunday afternoon at the PLU soccer field.  Frosh midfielder Giancarlo Santoro scored PLU's only first-half goal in the 13th minute after quickly maneuvering between defenders and lacing a well-placed ball past Puget Sound keeper Chris McDonald and into the back of the net. It was his second goal of the season.  Santoro's goal was the only thing separating the Lutes and Loggers until the 88th minute when junior forward Chad Kearns knocked a screamer past UPS goalkeeper Chris McDonald. Kearns, who leads the Northwest Conference with 12 goals, was set up in the open by a pass from junior Spencer Augustin.  Then with 23 seconds left in the game, Santoro penetrated the box and was fouled, giving the Lutes a penalty kick. Senior Daniele Zaccagnini finessed the ball into the net on the kick, adding the final insurance goal, his sixth this season.  Frosh keeper Joe Rayburn earned his third shutout of the season while making four saves.  PLU outshot UPS 12-5, with seven of the Lutes' shots coming in the second half. PLU also had the edge in corner kicks, 9-3. Puget Sound had good stretches of possession, particularly in the second half, but was unable to break down the PLU defense once it got into the attacking third of the field. 

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