By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- Willamette University played a nearly perfect game against Whitworth University on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Sparks Field, as the Bearcats shut out the Pirates, 2-0. Willamette outshot Whitworth 23-6, including a 9-4 margin in shots on goal.
The Bearcats improved to 8-3-2 overall, 5-3-1 in the Northwest Conference. Whitworth fell to 8-4-1 on the season and to 7-1-1 in the NWC with the Pirates' first conference loss. Whitworth led the conference standings until Pacific Lutheran University defeated Pacific University, 5-0, on Friday. The Lutes are 8-1-0 in the NWC for 24 points. Whitworth is now second with 22 points. The Bearcats currently hold fourth place with 16 points.
"Today, from the first whistle to the last whistle, we were focused on what we needed to do. We were fired up and ready to go," Willamette Head Coach Hillary Arthur said. "I'm very proud of the effort and contributions each and everyone of our players make on a daily basis. Today was an accumulation of that effort, attitude and can-do mindset."
Fionn Fortune (So., M, Alexandria, VA/St. Stephen's & St. Agnes/Hamilton Coll.) gave the Bearcats a 1-0 lead o a goal at 16:01. The play began with a shot by Yume Matsuyama (So., Saitama, Japan/Bunkyo Gakuin Univ. Girls HS) that was sent into the crossbar on a save by Whitworth goalkeeper Sienna Tanner. The ball rebounded into play and Forturne shot from six yards into the left side of the goal.
The Bearcats still led 1-0 at halftime. Just over 16 minutes into the second half at 61:25, Rachael Moulton (So., D, Seattle, WA/Shorecrest HS) of Willamette scored on a thunderous 30-yard free kick from the middle of the field. Moulton sent the ball into the upper left corner of the net.
Willamette outshot the Pirates in each half, gaining a 14-2 advantage in the first half and a 9-4 edge in the second half. WU goalie Kristen Barclay (So., GK, Kenmore, WA/Cedar Park Christian School) provided the Bearcats with four saves. Tanner earned seven saves for the Pirates. Willamette held a 2-1 margin in corner kicks.
The Bearcats applied significant pressure all over the field, often thwarting Whitworth's efforts to play out of the back. In addition, the Bearcats limited quality chances for the Pirates with solid play on defense.
Fortune and Moulton each scored her first goal of the season, and each took four total shots. Emmy Manset (Sr., F, Ventura, CA/Foothill Technology HS) led WU with five shots. Six players took one shot apiece for Whitworth.
Up next for Willamette is a home game on Sunday (Oct. 15) at Sparks Field. Kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. (PDT).