WALLA WALLA — With Corina Gabbert booting a pair of first-half goals and Courtney Porter posting her 21st career shutout, Whitman College knocked off Whitworth University 2-0 in Northwest Conference soccer action Wednesday afternoon in Spokane.
Avenging a 2-1 loss to Whitworth earlier this season in Walla Walla, Whitman pounced on their hosts right at the outset. With just 1:47 ticked off the clock, Gabbert elevated over the defense to head home a free kick from sophomore Libby Watkins.
"That was a fantastic pass and assist from Libby," Whitman coach Scott Shields said. "It was a set piece along the right sideline, and we played it just like a corner kick. Corina got up and over the defense to head the ball into the net. It was a very pretty scoring play."
Thirty minutes later, junior Kristen Innes played a ball from Whitman’s defensive end to sophomore Amy Hasson in the midfield. Hasson crossed the ball as Gabbert released on a breakaway that led to the Missionary senior’s team-leading seventh goal of the season.
After stepping around one defender, and with the keeper forced to come out to make a play, Gabbert fired into the net from just inside the top of the keeper box.
Porter, a four-year starter at keeper, made four saves — all in the first half — to register her first shutout in seven career starts against the Pirates.
The six-foot senior has at least one shutout against eight of the nine NWC schools. Puget Sound is the lone exception.
"Our defense really turned it on in the second half and worked super hard to make sure Courtney got her shutout," Shields said. "She made a couple of key stops early in the game when Whitworth was all over us after we scored that first goal."
The Missionaries, 4-7-1 on the season, improved to 3-6 in the NWC, moving into a with George Fox for sixth place in the conference standings.