WALLA WALLA — When Whitman College dropped a 1-0 women’s soccer decision to Pacific a month ago, the Missionaries were fraying at the seams, a team in disarray.
Veteran defender Kate Newman suffered a season-ending injury in the first half of that game, and leading scorer Corina Gabbert was already on the sidelines, nursing a bad leg. The Boxers took full advantage, outshooting the Missionaries 21-12.
With Gabbert back on the field and its defense again solidified, Whitman took its revenge Saturday afternoon, handing the Boxers a 2-0 setback on their home turf in Forest Grove, Ore.
Gabbert booted her team-leading 12th goal of the season in the first half and then assisted when Kristin Innes knocked home her third goal of the season in the second half.
Meanwhile, a defensive backline of DeeDee McCormick, Libby Watkins, Kate Potter and Claire Westcott allowed Pacific just four shots on goal, none of which came in the first half. Three came in the last eight minutes of play.
Courtney Porter, Whitman’s all-conference senior keeper, made four saves for her second consecutive shutout. It was her third shutout in four games, her fifth of the season and the 23rd of her career.
Pacific came out firing to start the game, uncorking three of its five first-half shots in the first nine minutes of play. But Whitman seized command and a 1-0 lead when Gabbert headed home a Watkins corner kick in the 25th minute. It was the fourth assist of the season for Watkins.
The Missionaries outshot their hosts 9-5 in the opening half, forcing the Pacific to make two saves.
Whitman made it 2-0 in the game’s 73rd minute. Innes scored from eight yards out, after taking a pass from Gabbert. It was Gabbert’s fifth assist of the season.
Whitman finished with a 16-10 advantage in shots on goal. Gabbert was good for seven shots while Innes and Amy Hasson took three apiece.
The victory gives Whitman a 5-7 Northwest Conference record and lifts the Missionaries past Pacific into fifth place in the standings. The Boxers slipped to 4-6-1 in conference play.
After returning to full strength after her early season injury, Gabbert has collected 11 goals and two assists in her last seven games.