Soccer takes first place in Conference with two wins

by Peter Houston-Hencken
Sports Editor

After three consecutive losses, the Whitworth women’s soccer team was able to redeem themselves by defeating the George Fox Bruins on Saturday and the Pacific University Boxers on Sunday. The two home games brought their conference standing to 2-1.

The women took an early lead in the game on Saturday and finished with a crushing score of 4-1.

The Pirates got off to an amazing start by making two shots on goal and scoring less than ten minutes into the first half.  Senior forward Tiara Pajimola led the pirates offensive in the first half by scoring the first goal and attempting six shots.

“She’s just consistent in front of goal,” head coach Jael Hagerott said. “It’s also a group effort. She has to receive the ball from players. So it was sort of a combination with her determination and ability to be on goal.”

The score stayed at 1-0 for most of the first half. The difference in strategies between the two teams was noticeable during the game. The Bruins focused on long passes and getting down field as fast as possible. The Pirates; however, used their ability to make short passes and fast footwork to take the lead in the first half.

With less than five minutes left in the first half Pajimola made a corner kick that resulted in a scramble for the ball. In the middle of the scramble, freshman Brooke Morrow was able to free the ball and score a goal.

“In practice we do a lot of corner kicks.,” Morrow said. “Or we play four-on-four and scramble and know how to do that. Jael prepares us in those situations, like if it’s compact, just to do whatever we can.”

The Bruins entered the second half with an improved offense and defense. George Fox increased their shots on goal from five to six while the Pirates decreased from 10 to six. The Bruins were also able to score 10 minutes before the game ended.

“George Fox is a good team,” Pajimola said. “We were expecting a hard battle and we saw that team come out in the second half. They came out harder, they came out with more energy and more communication.”

Unfortunately for the Lutes, Whitworth bested them in the second half as well. Goals by sophomores McKenzie Hemp and Leah Corra brought the final score to 4-1.

The Pirates were able to win their Sunday game against the Pacific University Boxers 2-0. Neither team was able to score in the slow first half. The Pirates only had seven shots on goal.

However, the offensive picked up in the second half with 11 attempts for a goal. Senior DeNae Vandam was the first to score in the second half. Less than two minutes later, junior Jenna Morris followed up with another goal with an assist by Pajimola.

The game ended with the Pirates getting 20 attempts while the Boxers fell far behind with only four attempts.

The soccer team will travel to Oregon next week to challenge Linfield and Willamette. The Linfield game will be on Saturday 26 at noon while the Willamette game will be on Sunday 27 at noon.

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