Nov. 14, 2009

Courtesy Whitworth Athletics

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. - One goal early in each half lifted Whitworth University to a 2-0 win over Chapman University in the first round of the NCAA Division III men's soccer tournament on Saturday at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

The Pirates (14-2-3) will take on red-hot Claremont-Mudd-Scripps in the second round on Sunday (1:00 p.m.) after the Stags (12-7-2) knocked off host UC Santa Cruz 2-1 in Saturday's other first round game.

Chapman finishes its season with a record of 11-5-2.

Keith Kirsch (Sr., F, Colbert, Wash.) gave the Pirates a quick 1-0 lead when he scored his fifth goal of the season in the seventh minute of the match. Dion Coxe (So., D, Eugene, Ore.) was credited with the assist, his second of the season.

Whitworth had a chance to get a second goal just five minutes into the second half when Kekoa Mountcastle (Fr., F, Waiehu, Hawaii) beat a defender and was fouled from behind in the box. But Chapman keeper Tyler Hadzinsky stopped a penalty kick by Elly Bulega (Sr., F, Tacoma, Wash.) to keep the Panthers within a single tally.

However Whitworth made it 2-0 early in the 58th minute when Justin Meyer (So., MF, Olympia, Wash.) beat a defender and slotted a pass to a wide open Cameron Bushey (So., MF, Spokane, Wash.) and Bushey finished his clear shot back inside the far post for his this goal of the season.

Bryan Sherpe (So., GK, Centennial, Colo.) made his only difficult save of the day late in the second half to preserve his eighth shutout of the season. He finished with three total saves on the day.

Chapman outshot Whitworth 12-9, but the Pirate defense forced most of the shots to be from long range. Whitworth had the edge in shots-on-goal (5-3).

The Pirates are now 7-4-2 all time in the NCAA Division III tournament.