By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director
SPOKANE, Wash. -- In a closely contested Northwest Conference women's soccer game on Sunday, Sept. 25, Whitworth University downed Willamette University, 2-0, as the Pirates scored twice in the second half. The Bearcats hit the crossbar twice in the second half, and forced Whitworth goalkeeper Sienna Tanner to make a couple of acrobatic stops on her way to recording seven saves.
The win boosted Whitworth to 3-5 on the season, 2-2 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 4-4 overall, 1-3 in the NWC.
Willamette outshot the Pirates 17-13, although Whitworth earned an 8-7 edge in shots on goal. The Bearcats registered five corner kicks, while the Pirates achieved two corner kicks.
After a scoreless first half, Kate Matthews (So., M, Bainbridge Island, WA/Bainbridge HS) hit the crossbar with a shot at 54:38. The attempt by Matthews was just eight seconds after a shot by Kinsey Keene (Sr., F, Eagle, ID/Eagle HS) was blocked by the defense.
Arielle Van Peursem opened the scoring for Whitworth at 64:59 on a shot from just outside the six-yard box. The goal was set up by a through pass from Jenna Morris, who recorded an assist on the play.
Marley Duncan (Jr., F, Pukalani, HI/Kamehameha School) of Willamette, who led the Bearcats with four shots, including three shots on goal, nearly tied the game at 71:54. She took a quality shot, but it bounced off the crossbar.
Whitworth increased its lead to 2-0 on a goal by Leah Corra with less than two minutes remaining at 88:37. Corra intercepted a pass and beat Willamette goalie Kristen Barclay one-on-one.
The second half featured nine shots by each team, with the Pirates gaining a 5-4 margin in shots on target.
Sienna earned four of her seven saves in the second half, as she secured the shutout win. Barclay made three saves while playing the final 45 minutes for the Bearcats. Emily Sewall (Sr., GK, Petaluma, CA/Casa Grande HS) played the first half in goal for Willamette and contributed three saves.
The Bearcats, who have played three of four conference games on the road, will play two NWC games at home next weekend. On Saturday, Oct. 1, the Bearcats will host University of Puget Sound at 12 p.m. (PDT). On Sunday, Oct. 2, Willamette will take on 16th-ranked Pacific Lutheran University, also at 12 p.m.