by Peter Houston-Hencken
The women’s soccer team ended this last weekend by entering double overtime twice, and ending both games in a draw. The Pirates faced the Linfield Wildcats (1-1) on Satu day and the Willamette Bearcats (0-0) on Sunday.
The Pirates were unable to recreate their last matchup against the Wildcats when they won with a score of 1-0. Instead, the Wildcats improved their game and created a diffcult match for the Pirates.
The first half featured Linfield’s skilled passing, however the Pirates were able to keep up by using a strong defensive strategy. While the Wildcats had more possession of the ball, the Pirates were able to keep the ball in Linfield’s territory for most of the half.
“We were just trying to make sure that we were tracking our runs, getting the ball settled and working it up the field,” head coach Jael Hagerott said.
With less than 16 minutes left in the half, Linfield’s midfielder Emma Vukic was able to score a goal and end the first half in the lead (0-1).
As they entered the second half, the Pirates changed their strategy and put more emphasis on their offensive ability.
Less than a minute into the half, senior goalkeeper Andrea Stump made an impressive diving save, preventing Linfield from collecting another point. Stump saved four out of the five shots on goal for the game on Saturday.
Nine minutes later, a confusing call by the game officials resulted in the Pirates scoring. After the ball rolled out of bounds, most of the Wildcats moved downfield into Pirate territory believing they would have possession. However, the Pirates were granted the throw. Sophomore Courtney Potter quickly took the ball and ran downfield. With little defense to pressure her, Potter took the shot. The ball ricochet off of the left frame and landed in the goal. Potter’s goal marked her first goal for the season.
“It started in the back-left corner… and it was a combination play up top,” Potter said. “I just ran through the middle and [Tiara Pajimola] played a perfect ball through.”
The game entered two overtime matches with neither team scoring a point. The game ended with Linfield making a total of five shots on goal compared to Whitworth’s four.
On Sunday, the Pirates took on the Willamette Bearcats in an extremely physical game. The Pirates struggled in the first half to keep up with the Bearcats’ fast plays and physical defense. Willamette took the first shot on goal within less than a minute of starting the game. They would hold the lead for number of shots on goal for the entire game.
The first half ended with neither team scoring and the Bearcats gaining four shots on goal compared to Whitworth’s one.
Junior Hannah Langbehn helped keep the ball on Willamette’s half for most of the second half by disrupting many of the Bearcats’ plays and gaining possession.
“This weekend we were really working on pushing players inside and pulling an offsides trap,” Lang- behn said.
The second half ended with the same score and the Pirates losing their defensive edge. Towards the end of the half, neither team held a majority of the possession. However, as the teams entered overtime, the game began to heat up.
In just ten minutes of play, three fouls took place and two yellow cards were issued. Willamette showed their aggression and were issued two of the fouls. A yellow card was issued to Willamette junior Emma Sanders. Whitworth tried to keep up with the physicality and were issued one foul and a yellow card to junior Jennifer Loehner.
“Our girls were ready to dig in and to battle,” Hagerott said. “And then also deal with [Willamette’s physicality] by just moving the ball well on the field.”
The first overtime ended without either team making any progress. In the final round of overtime, both teams made a shot on goal, but were unsuccessful at winning the match.
Contact Peter Houston-Hencken at phouston-hencken17@ my.whitworth.edu