by Andrew Forhan
The Whitworth women’s soccer team fell 1-0 to the Linfield College Wildcats on Oct. 29 before earning a 3-2 overtime win against the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers on senior day at the Whitworth Soccer Field.
Linfield controlled the majority of the ball possession in the contest, and a goal in the 23rd minute for the Wildcats turned out to be all Linfield needed for the victory. The Pirates couldn’t find a way to put themselves on the scoreboard, and were limited to six total shots.
Senior goalkeeper Callie Bergstrom recorded 12 saves for the Bucs to contain Linfield’s offense.
“Being a goalkeeper is always tough,” head coach Jael Hagerott said. “She kept us in the game. It’s disappointing that we couldn’t put one in the back of the net for her and the rest of the team.”
The Pirate offense was back on track on Oct. 30, however, taking an early lead against Lewis & Clark when junior forward Katrin Grant finished a cross by senior defender Anisa Babar into the back of the net.
The Pioneers responded by scoring a goal in the 53rd minute, and took the lead in the 61st minute with their second goal, creating a momentum shift that caught Whitworth off guard for a moment.
“When LC scored it was really tough, but the girls up top did a great job rallying,” Bergstrom said. “It shows a lot of resilience and perseverance from all the girls on the field.”
Junior forward Carly Schilperoort brought the Bucs back, tying the game at two goals apiece in the 71st minute with her second goal of the year.
“Carly really dug in; I would say she played some of the best soccer in that game that she’s played all year long,” Hagerott said.
Neither team scored for the rest of regulation, sending the contest to overtime.
Whitworth junior midfielder Mackenzie Grow made sure the overtime period didn’t last long, scoring her team-leading fourth goal of the season just 48 seconds into the first overtime period. Grow struck a magisterial ball from the right side of the field and well outside the 18-yard box that hooked right to left, caroming off the crossbar and left post before settling in the goal to win the game for the Pirates.
“Whenever Mackenzie Grow gets the ball, we all get pretty excited because she just has a great outside shot,” Bergstrom said. “It was a great shot, and we were all really relieved.”
The victory sent a very accomplished group of five Pirate seniors out with a victory in their final home match at the Whitworth Soccer Field.
“You always want to send your seniors out on a good note, especially in our last home game” Hagerott said. “The game was a little bit more close than we would have liked, but we pulled it out. The girls fought back and really, it was an exciting finish.”
The Pirates out-shot the Pioneers 15-3 in the match, and were awarded four corner kicks while keeping Lewis & Clark from earning a single corner kick.
Whitworth will play its final regular season match on the road, traveling to Salem, Ore., to take on the Willamette University Bearcats. The two teams are currently tied for third place in the Northwest Conference, so a win for the Pirates would clinch a third-place conference finish for the season.