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October 2, 2011

Lutes Give Boxers the Rainy Day Blues

Spencer Augustin scored his ninth goal of the season in overtime and Surafel Wodajo set a Pacific Lutheran men's soccer career record with his 31st assist as the Lutes defeated the Pacific Boxers, 2-1, in a Northwest Conference match played Sunday afternoon at the PLU field.

With the players, officials, spectators and field soaked as a result of more than 20 minutes of torrential rains, Augustin finally ended the game with a goal 1:52 into the first overtime. He took a pass from Shane Gutierrez and slid the ball past Pacific keeper Michael Summers, who finished with an incredible 13 saves after coming off the bench 15 minutes into the match to replace injured teammate Zach Cohen.

For Augustin, it was his ninth goal of the season, his fifth in the last four matches, and his third game-winning tally in the last four PLU contests. With the victory, the Lutes stayed tied with Puget Sound and Whitworth atop the conference standings, all with 5-1 record. PLU is now 8-2 for the season.

With the defeat, defending conference champion Pacific falls to 2-4 in the NWC and 2-8 overall.

Wodajo was the big news at 30:26 of the first half when he assisted on a goal by Lucas McCallum, who hit the ball past Summers and into the far netting. The assist was No. 31 for Wodajo, who passed Jay Pettit (2002-05) for first on the PLU career assists list. Wodajo has 10 assists in as many matches this season.

That goal looked like it might have to stand up for the Lutes, and the visiting Boxers had their goalkeeper to thank for that. Summers had three saves in 30 minutes in the first half and 10 more saves, some of them spectacular, in the second period. One of those saves came about eight minutes from the end when he saved Wodajo's penalty kick after defender Ian Ward was sent off for pulling down Augustin in the box.

In all, the Lutes put 17 of their 23 total shots on frame, but Summers was up to the task, keeping the Boxers in the game until they scored the tying goal at 76:27 when Nick Rudella got his toe to the ball during a goal mouth scramble and punched it past PLU keeper Joe Rayburn. It was one of only two shots on goal all match long for the Boxers, who had seven total shots.

Pacific Lutheran returns to conference action at 2:30 p.m. Saturday when it travels across town to face the Puget Sound Loggers.

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