Wolves Men Win First Match, Earns Team of the Week
The Wolves took a 1-0 victory over Hawaii Pacific in their first ever regular-season game.
The Wolves took a 1-0 victory over Hawaii Pacific in their first ever regular-season game.

Monday, August 29, 2022

PORTLAND, Ore. – Western Oregon took to the pitch for its inaugural men’s match and made no mistake in starting off on the right foot, picking up a 1-0 victory over Hawaii Pacific. The first regular-season win for the young program earned the Wolves the GNAC Team of the Week Award.

Western Oregon came to the field ready to win, firing 10 shots with five on goal. That included a second half where WOU outshot opponents Hawaii Pacific 6-2 after a 0-0 first half. The pressure after returning from the locker room proved to be effective. In the 74th minute, defender Ben Mitcheson won a key battle in the Wolves’ own zone leading to a through-ball from Abraham Villalobos to freshman midfielder Alex Grignon who found himself in clear air inside the Sharks’ box and buried the first goal in program history into the bottom right corner of the net.

The two freshmen, Grignon and Villalobos, were all over the scoresheet for the Wolves in their first match, putting up six of the team’s 10 shots with three of them on goal. The young duo played a combined 116 minutes.

In Western Oregon’s end, goalkeeper Juan Suarez and the defense were in control allowing just one shot on goal, which Suarez handled. While the Wolves fielded 27 players over the course of the match, the back line stayed largely steady, with defenders Chester March, Enrique Gomez, and Mitcheson all playing the full 90 minutes. Jimmy Perkins, who also started on the back line for Western Oregon, logged 77 minutes in the shutout win.

Wolves head coach Stan Rodrigues is proud of the team for coming out of the gates in strong form and to be bringing that team toward the start of conference play.

“My staff and team are honored to be given this recognition,” Rodrigues said. “This has been a long time coming and putting the first ever team together has had many great moments. We know the GNAC is extremely competitive and we are proud to be a part of it.”

With the first win of the season and the program in the books, Western Oregon hits the road this week for the first time in regular-season play, heading to Salt Lake City, Utah to take on Westminster Utah on Thursday and Colorado Mesa on Saturday.