Gabbert's hat trick carries Whitman women past PLU


WALLA WALLA — With Corina Gabbert booting her second hat trick in as many weeks and Courtney Porter posting her 22nd career save, Whitman College overwhelmed Pacific Lutheran 5-0 in Northwest Conference soccer action Sunday at the Whitman Athletic Fields.

Playing on a sunny day, Whitman inundated the Lutes with 25 shots and left the visitors scrambling for cover for a good part of the game.

The Missionaries nearly dented the scoreboard in the 69th second of play when Liz Forbes got her head on Gabbert’s long, floating pass, forcing the PLU keeper to make her first save of the day.

The reprieve for the Lutes didn’t last long. Nine minutes into the game, Whitman’s Taylor Chock lifted a cross from the top right corner of the 18-yard box to the center of the PLU goal, where Gabbert was waiting to head it home.

Three minutes later, first-year Missionary Jaclyn Rudd curled a 25-yard left-footed rainbow from the middle of the field to the upper left corner of the net. It was Rudd’s second goal of the season.

Whitman dominated the first 30 minutes of action, taking nine shots before the Lutes got off their first salvo near the end of the 22nd minute.

With halftime on the horizon, PLU’s offense got busy. Rockets off the feet of Karli Hurlbut and Robin Klein forced Porter to make two diving saves in the 34th minute of action.

Gabbert scored again at the 65:01 mark, extending Whitman’s lead to 3-0. Kristin Innes flicked a pass forward from the midfield that Gabbert turned into a one-on-one opportunity that she finished from 15 yards out.

Less than seven minutes later, Gabbert completed her hat trick, breaking free of the defense on the left side before discharing a 20-yard scoring strike to the far post. Rudd got the assist.

Whitman tacked on its last goal with about 12 minutes left in the game. Forbes got loose outside the 18-yard box and lofted a shot over the keeper’s head and into the netting. It was goal No. 3 this season for Forbes, and Amy Hasson earned her team-leading sixth assist on the play.

In posting her second shutout in three games, Porter made nine saves in all for Whitman. With nine minutes left to play, the six-foot senior came out of the box to soar above other players and punch away a ball. Two players (one from each team) who got underfoot were scattered like bowling pins.

Whitman, now 5-8-1 on the season and 4-7 in the NWC, plays at Pacific and George Fox this weekend.


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