Missionary women fall 2-1 to Bearcats

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WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Willamette's Stephanie Skelly scored twice in the final six minutes to launch the Bearcats to a 2-1 victory over Whitman College in a Northwest Conference soccer match Saturday afternoon at the Whitman Athletic Fields.

Willamette, winning its fourth straight game, improved to 5-1-1 in the NWC and 6-4-1 on the season.

Whitman stumbled to 3-5 in conference and 4-7 overall.

Whitman, which finished the game with a 22-10 shot advantage, carried a 1-0 lead to the closing minutes before lightning struck twice for the Bearcats.

Skelly started the comeback when she beat Whitman's keeper to a through ball, dribbled to her left and scored into an open net with just over five minutes left to play.

Less than three minutes later, Skelly swiped a ball from a Missionary defender and sliced a shot from the left side of the box to the far corner.

Her late-game scoring spree gave Skelly eight goals on the season.

Whitman tallied its goal in the 14th minute of the first half when senior Amy Hasson bodied home a corner kick from junior Jaclyn Rudd.

It was Hasson's eighth goal of the season.

The Missionaries stayed on the attack for several minutes in the wake of Hasson's goal, taking the next seven shots. Whitman finished the half with a 12-4 advantage in shots but was unable to capitalize on a number of scoring opportunities

Willamette's best scoring chance of the opening half came in the 29th minute when Ariel Wilson's shot from the right side bounced off the near post.

Helen Brown returned the favor in the 36th minute when her attempt caromed off a post.

The two sides battled on more even terms in the second half, although Whitman ended the final 45 minutes with a 10-6 edge in shots.

Hasson, with six shots, and Rudd, with five, generated 50 percent of Whitman's total shots on goal. Seniors Marisol Fonzeca and Taylor Chock added five more shots between them.

Skelly had five of Willamette's 10 shots. Sarah Desautels took three shots for the Bearcats.

Whitman keeper Emily Davis made two saves but had an active day in the box, picking off a number of crosses and through balls.

Whitman will face Whitworth Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. in Spokane.

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