Whit women pick up soccer victories

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WALLA WALLA — Whitman College got an early first half-goal from Jade Anderson and made it hold up in defeating Willamette, 1-0, in a Northwest Conference women’s soccer match Sunday afternoon at the Whitman Athletic Fields.

Sunday’s victory followed the Missionaries’ come-from-behind, 2-1 win over Lewis & Clark on Saturday. It improves Whitman’s conference mark to 6-9 and overall record to 10-9.

“It was a hard-fought match, “said Whitman head coach Heather Cato of Willamette. “It was really nice to send the seniors out with a ‘W,’ and it was our first two-win weekend of the season. That was something we were shooting for. We know we can’t win the conference but we can still keep winning games and battling for that senior class.”

The match marked the final regular season home match for Whitman and, thus, was Senior Day, with each senior being recognized before the match.

The lone goal of the match came in the ninth minute when Kelsey Peck sent a corner that Anderson headed just inside the far pole, leaping into the air to make the shot. It was Anderson’s second goal of the weekend and third of the year.

The Missionaries kept the pressure on the rest of the half. Though they did not score, they outshot Willamette 6-1.

In the second half, the same theme continued as the Missionaries held an 11-4 advantage in shots — for the match, they outshot the Bearcats 17-5. Seven were on-goal. Willamette fired three shots on target.

Whitman’s Emma Onstad-Hawes collected a pass in front of the goal, but her shot slipped just wide of the post. Anderson headed another shot from point-blank range that was saved by the goalkeeper.

Late in the match Whitman took two corners where the ball bounded in front of the net and ricocheted off players before being cleared.

With less than two minutes remaining in the match, Willamette had its best chance to tie things up. The Bearcats were awarded a corner kick and Kellie Standish placed a ball enticingly in front of the net. Kelsey Keene headed the ball towards the goal but goalkeeper Emily Davis was there to make the save. Davis made three saves on the day in notching her ninth win of the season.

Cato praised the Missionary senior class after the match.

“This was a special class,” she said. “This is the first class that, as a coach here, I have gone through all four years with. They’re going to be missed tremendously, mostly for their leadership and their competitiveness. They’re constantly making sure that everyone knows they are a part of this team, this family. This is more than team; this is a family.”

On Saturday, L&C got on the board early, scoring at the 8:36 mark. Emily Thompson put in a rebound off a shot by Anna Thorndike to give the Pioneers a 1-0 lead.

It didn’t take long for Whitman to tie things up. Less than four minutes after L&C had scored its goal, the Missionaries struck back when Lena de Guzman centered a ball to the top of the box that Kelsey Roehner promptly deposited into the back of the net. It was Roehner’s third goal of the season.

Neither team scored the rest of the first half. Whitman broke the tie in the 82nd minute on a goal from Anderson. Goalkeeper Geena Fong’s clearance kick was deflected and Anderson booted the ball into the net.

Whitman’s defense kept the Pioneers out of the goal the rest of the way and the Missionaries had the victory in a game that was played in cold and slick conditions.

The Missionaries finish the season at George Fox at 11 a.m. Friday.

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