Filip Timotija | Staff Writer
Whitworth women’s soccer team lost both conference games this past weekend at home with only three substitutes available. The Pirates lost to Pacific Lutheran 2-0 on Saturday, Oct.16, and 2-0 to Puget Sound on Oct 17.
Pacific Lutheran scored both of their goals in the first half.
Sawyer Anderson scored the first goal for PLU during the 20th minute. Anderson created space and hit the top right corner of Kate Nelson’s goal.
The Lutes kept control of the game by accumulating more shot attempts.
The second goal for Pacific Lutheran came during the 35th minute when Ashlee Gormley crossed the ball to Keila Kruse, who flicked it with her right foot and sent it to the unguarded left corner of the goal.
After 45 minutes of play, the Lutes were ahead of the Pirates in goals (2-0), shot attempts (7-1), and corners (5-2).
The Lutes kept control and closed out the game in the second half.
Pacific Lutheran finished the game with 14 shot attempts while Whitworth had only five shots.
The Lutes had nine shots on goal while the Pirates did not have a single shot on target.
The second game also ended in a Whitworth loss. The Pirates only had three substitutes available.
Puget Sound took an early lead during the 10th minute of the game. Kylee Roath hit a spectacular shot from far outside of the box.
Puget Sound controlled the pace of the game for the rest of the first half with securing 52% of possessions.
The Loggers had 10 shot attempts of which three were on target. The Pirates only had two shots, and both were off target.
Puget Sound continued to pressure Whitworth in the second half with long passes on the wings and constant shot attempts.
The Loggers scored their second goal during the 63rd minute when Emily O’Neil drilled a shot from the top of the box after a pass from Kiana Serrao.
The rest of the game was controlled by Puget Sound who continued their offensive pressure.
The game ended with the Loggers having 23 shot attempts off which seven were on target, while the Pirates had seven shots, but only three were on goal.
Puget Sound had six corner kicks while Whitworth had three.
Coach Olson reflected on his impressions of his team’s play this past weekend.
“We always want to breathe belief into who we are as a team,” Olson said. “Yes, the opponents were good, yet our biggest focus wanted to be on us and what we could bring as a team. I think we got to see glimpses of that this weekend, especially on Sunday coming together in our work and effort. I was proud how the girls worked and what they gave themselves.”
Olson commented on how having three substitutes impacted the match on Sunday.
“There’s no substitute for hard work, and they put it in today,” Olson said. “Sunday games are hard no matter what. It takes a lot of resiliency from the individuals who are playing their second game in two days. I’m thankful for our girls and their willingness to step in and give themselves so selflessly.”
Olson elaborated on Whitworth having more possessions despite the loss on Sunday and how his team adjusted.
“Our team adjust well tactically. This is something we’ve never done before. We sat in defensively. We tried to be much more compact and harder to break down. When we had [possession], we were able to string some passes together and possess the ball,” Olson said.
Olson’s expectation for the team down the road is that they focus on what they can control.
“Our first expectation is that we bring effort and intentionality that isn’t rooted in any outside circumstance. We accept a really good opponent,” Olson said. “Top to bottom in the Northwest Conference every game is a big game. Whitman didn’t win a single game this season until today when they beat the second-ranked team in the conference, PLU, 1-0. It just shows how good our conference is and that we will play a fired-up opponent.”
The Pirates will face Whitman on the road for their next game on Oct. 20 at 4 p.m.