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Pacific mens soccer falls off the pace

Despite goals from Danny Williams and Derek Atta, Pacific could not sustain a second half rally over Whitman on Sunday as the Missionaries took a 3-2 victory from the Boxers in Northwest Conference men's soccer action at the Whitman Athletic Fields.

Strikes by John Rue and Marc Nabelek put the Boxers (8-5-1, 5-5-1) in a 2-0 hole with 30 minutes to go before Pacific mounted its comeback bid. It was the third straight loss for Pacific, who now sits in fourth place in the conference standings.

It was another defensive effort for the Boxers as they were outshot by Whitman 20-6. The Missionaries (6-5-2, 5-5-2) also held a 3-0 advantage in corner kicks.

Whitman snatched the early lead when Rue scored in the 13th minute, taking a pass from Kevin Sigley to the right corner of the goalie box, curled back around a slipping defender and fired a bullet to the far post.

Nabelek opened scoring in the second half with his goal in the 62nd minute. With Brett Rawson getting the assist, Nabelek beat charging Pacific goalie Jory Shene to the ball and chipped it over his head and into the net.

Just over a minute later, Williams put Pacific on the board with his sixth goal of the season, taking a breakway pass from Robin Grossman to cut the deficit in half. Whitman picked up what eventually became the game-winner, however, on a Craig Yuen penalty kick goal in the 68th minute.

Atta continued the comeback charge in the 74th minute, managing to find himself ahead of the Whitman defense off another Grossman pass for his second goal of the season.

Shene finished with six saves in the loss. Whitman netminder James Millikan did not make a save as Pacific's only two shots on goal were scores.

Pacific will wrap up the 2006 season with three straight home matches, beginning with a Sunday tilt against George Fox.