OLYMPIA, Wash. – A corner kick off the foot of Andrew Cota found the crossbar before bouncing to the waiting forehead of Alex Vukic, who guided the ball in as the Menlo Oaks defeated the Evergreen Geoducks, 1-0, in a non-conference NAIA men’s soccer match on Thursday evening at Evergreen Pitch in Olympia, Wash.
After two unsuccessful shots early in the period, the Oaks got on the board in the ninght minute as Cota fed the ball into the box, skimming the kick off the middle of the crossbar and Vukic found it to score what would end up being the only goal of the game. Despite allowing the goal, Evergreen keeper Mitch Treend (Vancouver, Wash./Prairie HS) made a pair of nice saves to keep the Geoducks competitive at halftime.
In the second half, the Geoducks turned up the offensive pressure, unleashing three shots on goal that Alex Palomarez was forced to stop. Evergreen’s best opportunity came with less than a minute left on the clock as Jeremy Novack (Lake Forest Park, Wash./Shorecrest HS) dribbled around Palomarez and fired a shot on net but a Menlo defender was able to clear the ball of the line to preserve the win.
Menlo held a slight advantage in shots at 8-6 while each team finished with three saves on the evening. The Geoducks were whistled for offsides twice, compared with just one for Menlo.
Evergreen will look to bounce back on Monday afternoon when they play host to Rocky Mountain in the second game of a men’s/women’s doubleheader beginning at 11 a.m. The Oaks return to the pitch on Saturday when they travel up to Kirkland to take on Northwest University, beginning at 1 p.m.