Bathurst Snares NWC Men's Soccer Honor
News Release Date:
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Junior goalkeeper Michael Bathurst, who collected his second and third shutouts of the season last weekend for the Whitman College men's soccer team, has been named Northwest Conference Student Athlete of the Week for defensive players.
With Whitman needing a pair of road wins last weekend to stay within striking distance of the NWC leaders, Bathurst erected a wall in front of the Missionary goal in 1-0 victories at Linfield on Saturday and Willamette on Sunday.
"We were under some pressure last weekend to win after suffering back-to-back home defeats earlier in the month," Whitman coach Mike Washington said.
"Michael's leadership both as team captain and keeper were pivotal for us to bounce back and win two on the road."
In the victory at Willamette, Bathurst withstood a furious barrage from the Bearcats in the second half. The Willamette offense generated 12 shots and 11 corner kicks over the final 45 minutes, but Bathurst made five of his seven saves to protect Whitman's 1-0 lead.
While Willamette outshot Whitman 22-8 for the game and finished with a 14-3 edge in corner kicks, Bathurst proved to be the great equalizer in the final equation.
Bathurst was less busy in the Linfield game, making two saves against seven Wildcat shots. Both saves came in a scoreless first half, and one of the two was a "great stop," Washington said.
"Michael is one of our hardest workers in training, so this (NWC honor) is a great reward for him," Washington said.
"He has our defenders organized and playing with confidence for such a young defensive group. He has high expectations and they are matching his desire to work as hard as he does."
Bathurst is the second Whitman men's soccer player to earn one of the NWC weekly awards this season. Chris Perkins, a sophomore forward, won the award for offensive players earlier this month after two goals lifted Whitman to a 2-1 overtime victory at Pacific.
Whitman, which has just one game this weekend, hosts Whitworth at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Whitman Athletic Fields.
The Missionaries are 4-2 in the NWC standings, just one game back of three teams (Whitworth, Pacific Lutheran, Puget Sound) tied for first place.
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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; firstname.lastname@example.org