Filip Timotija | Staff Writer
Whitworth women’s soccer team logged one tie and one win this past weekend. The Pirates tied 2-2 with Lewis & Clark on Saturday, Oct. 30, and beat George Fox 2-0 on Sunday, Oct. 31.
Whitworth scored the first goal with Laura Pierson placing the ball in the net after it was deflected off the goalie’s hands in the 21st minute. From that point on, Lewis & Clark turned up the pressure on offense which was reflected in their ball-possession dominance (57%-43%). The Pioneers transformed that aggressiveness and ball-control into a score after Brecklyn Beighle dribbled up close to the goal, placing the shot right over Kate Nelson and into the net during the 42nd minute.
The first half ended in a tie. Lewis & Clark had more shot attempts (9-5), corner kicks (3-0) and offsides (2-1). However, Whitworth had more shots on target (3-2). The Pioneers continued to control the game, though, with their crisp passing in the midfield during the early portion of the second half.
Whitworth overcame the pressure when in the 86th minute, Kalena Pfaeltzer unleashed a bomb from outside of the box that overwhelmed the goalie, Abby Prager, who had no chance of defending the shot. Lewis & Clark wasn’t fazed by the late goal as they countered immediately in the 88th minute after a Brecklyn Beighle corner kick landed in the middle of the box to Celeste Schreifels who promptly placed it into the Pirates’ net.
The game went to overtime after 90 minutes of play. Both teams failed to score in the extended periods which meant that the final score remained 2-2.
Lewis & Clark had more shot attempts (19-14), shots on target (8-7) and corner kicks (6-5), while Whitworth had more saves (6-5), yellow cards (4-2) and a higher possession total (51%-49%).
The second game, on the other hand, ended up in a Pirates 2-0 victory. Whitworth was controlling the game early with their secure defense and precise passing on the right sideline.
The Pirates scored their first goal in the 17th minute after Gabriella Coprivnicar crossed the ball from the right side to Camryn Gardner whose shot proved to be indefensible for the Bruins goalie, Sara Thudium.
George Fox responded by sending long passes directly to their strikers who had a few opportunities to score but they failed to do so in the first half. Whitworth had more shots (7-6), saves (5-2) and a higher possession total (55%-45%), but George Fox had more shots on target (5-3).
The Bruins ramped up their offensive pressure in the second half by creating multiple scoring opportunities. The Pirates defense proved to be solid throughout the game which helped Whitworth maintain the minimal lead.
Macey Morales sealed the game for Whitworth with her third goal of the season. In the 84th minute, Morales received a great pass from Gabriella Coprivnicar that she converted into a right foot shot that ended in Sara Thudim’s net.
Despite the loss, George Fox had more total shots (15-12), corner kicks (5-1), higher possession total (51%-49%) and the same number shots on target as Whitworth (6-6).
“We were so thankful get the chance to play at home for our last home weekend,” coach Brian Olson said. “We knew it was going to be tough. These are two teams that we dropped games to earlier in the season, so to come out and fight hard in both games [with playing] extended minutes on Saturday is never easy. I believe we are the first conference team to beat George Fox by two goals all year long.”
“My legs are tired just from coaching extra minutes so I can’t imagine how they [the women on the team] feel,” Olson said. “They still show up and they give themselves so selflessly. It just speaks to our group and who they are. They love each other and they give their best. I am so thankful for our team.”
The Pirates are on the road for their final two conference games. On Saturday, Nov. 6. they will face Pacific at 11 a.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 7. they will play Linfield, also at 11 a.m.