SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth stormed to the top of the Northwest Conference women's soccer standings following Sunday's 2-0 win over visiting Willamette thanks again to the scoring combination of Amy Sterk and Tiara Pajimola.
By winning its third NWC match of the week and improving to 3-4 overall and 3-0 in the conference, the Pirates sit atop the standings with nine points – three ahead of second place Linfield (6-0, 2-0, six points). The Bearcats fell to 3-4, 1-2.
It was Sterk getting Whitworth on the scoreboard first for the third match in a row when she headed in Carly Schilperoort's corner kick in the 64th minute. All three of Sterk's goals this week are official match-winning tallies.
"Carly has been serving in some excellent corners and Amy has been a physical presence in the box, as the first goal demonstrated," said Pirate head coach Jael Hagerott.
Pajimola made it 2-0 thanks to a suspect pass that turned into a terrific goal only three minutes later. Pajimola attempted to serve a cross into the box from the right side, but instead the ball sailed toward the goal and just over the outstretched hand of Willamette keeper Nicole Price.
"Tiara again demonstrated her ability to get in behind the defense," Hagerott said. "Even though she meant to cross the ball, thankfully for us it went in."
Andrea Stump made three saves for Whitworth as the Pirates posted their third straight shutout. Price finished with five saves for the Bearcats.
"Andrea and the back line have been very good," Hagerott concluded. "Their consistent performances have helped us generate momentum in going forward."
Whitworth outshot Willamette 17-14, including a 7-3 edge in shots on-goal.
The Pirates will hit the road next weekend for matches at George Fox (Saturday) and Pacific (Sunday). Both will kick off at noon.