WALLA WALLA — The Whitman College women’s soccer team got two first-half goals from Mackenzie Hughes and a goal and two assists from Kelsey Roehner as the Missionaries defeated Northwest Christian, 7-0, at the Whitman Athletic Fields in their season opener Friday night.
The Missionaries dominated possession of the ball, launching 14 shots on goal compared to zero for the Beacons, and firing off 24 shots to just one for Northwest Christian.
“I thought that we applied relentless pressure for most of the game,” Whitman coach Heather Cato said. “We showed a fierceness and a desire to win the ball.”
After playing in the Beacons’ half of the field for the first 20 minutes, the Missionaries’ pressure paid off as a looping corner kick from Hughes floated over the outstretched arms of Northwest Christian goalie Kristin Fulbright and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
Minutes later, Hughes took a feed from Emma Onstad-Hawes and fired a shot into the corner of the net.
Whitman made it 3-0 when Danielle Audino placed a perfect ball into the upper-left-hand corner that left Fulbright standing still.
The Missionaries continued to apply the pressure in the second half and Pamela London volleyed a perfect feed from Kelsey Roehner to make the margin 4-nil.
Roehner was on the receiving end at the 73:40 mark when she received a pass across the box from Taylor Thomas and slid a shot past Fulbright.
The Whitman tally increased to six when Clara Merlino, after receiving a pass from Roehner, broke away from her defender and fired a winner.
The final score came on an unassisted goal by Kelsey Peck, who gunned a long-range bullet from the top of the box into the left corner of the net past a diving Fulbright.
“This is the first time since I’ve been here that we’ve been able to get every player in the game,” Cato said, “and we needed to use all of them. I thought our team set the tone early and finished strongly. We had six different people score goals. That’s huge.”
The Missionaries now head to Spokane to faceoff with Carroll University in the Whitworth Classic today at noon.