WALLA WALLA, WA –– (School release) Whitman College opened up Northwest Conference play Saturday afternoon against Linfield College at the Whitman Athletic Fields. The two teams played an overtime nail-biter that saw 46 shots between the two teams, the only one that mattered came with just over five minutes to play in overtime as Whitman’s Eric Conte connected on a pass from Jadon Bachtold to lift the Whits to a 1-0 victory.
Both Whitman (5-3, 1-0 NWC) and Linfield (0-5-1, 0-1 NWC) had several opportunities to score, but neither team was able to capitalize until Conte’s goal. Whitman goalkeeper, Owen Davis-Bower had a career day with 11 saves, none bigger than the one that came with under a minute to go. The Wildcats shot with 50 seconds remaining found the leg Davis-Bower keeping the score at 0-0 and sending the contest to extra time.
In the game’s first overtime Gabe Jacobson connected with Erik Nielsen down the middle of the field in what looked to be a sure goal; Linfield’s goalkeeper came out and reached the ball just as Nielsen connected with it sending the ball out of bounds. That was the best look the Whits had, up to that point.
Two minutes later, Bachtold sent a cross to Conte whose shot to the back of the net gave Whitman their first NWC win of the season. Of the Whits’ 10 shots on goal, Conte collected two, Ben Freedman had two and the other six were scattered among six players.
Whitman is home again Sunday afternoon with a 2:30 p.m. start against Willamette University. The game will be the men’s soccer team’s last home game until the last weekend in September.