This time, the Evergreen State College men’s soccer team’s offense came through against Carroll College.
The Geoducks got two goals from Willie Spurr in a 27-second span and another from Charlie Kramer to beat the Saints, 3-0, Wednesday in an opening round game of the Cascade Collegiate Conference tournament.
“It kind of went the way that I thought it would,” Evergreen coach John Purtteman said. “They play a little bit more direct, so it creates some unique challenges for us. ... In the end we just had a little bit of quality at the front end and it made the difference.”
Evergreen (13-3-1) advances to the conference semifinals. The Geoducks play Rocky Mountain College, which won the conference’s regular season title, at 4 p.m. Thursday. The Battlin’ Bears defeated the College of Idaho, 3-1, in their first-round game.
In the regular season, Carroll held the Geoducks to just four shots in handing them a 2-0 loss. But this game was different, even if the first half ended in a scoreless draw.
Shots by Jake Zimmerman, Tanner Williams and Juan Oropeza put early pressure on Saints goalie Conor Smith, who ended the game with eight saves. Evergreen finished with 22 shots, including 11 on goal, but did not get the breakthrough until the 54th minute.
Kramer, who was added to the roster late in the season because of injuries, was in the right place to score his first goal. Smith was unable to hold the ball near the goal and Kramer tapped it in to give the Geoducks a 1-0 lead.
Spurr then iced the game with his two-goal flurry.
His first goal came in the 71st minute, when he gathered a deflected shot by Kevin Elliott-McCrea and rifled the ball past Smith from 15 yards out. Seconds later he scored off a pass from Zimmerman.
Spurr said the field surface was a factor.
“I think we were pretty confident playing them on turf as opposed to their grass field,” Spurr said, mentioning the loss in Helena, Montana. “I think we moved the ball better and created more opportunities than we did the last game.”
Evergreen goalie Angel Guerra earned his eighth shutout of the season. He made four saves.