McMINNVILLE, Ore. – (From Linfield Sports Information) With just 11 seconds remaining in the first period of overtime, Emily Fellows got her head on a loose ball in the box and sent Linfield to a 2-1 victory over Whitworth in a Northwest Conference women's soccer match Saturday afternoon at the Linfield soccer field.
Linfield (8-1-2, 4-1-2 NWC, 14 points) took the opening kickoff and won a corner within the first minute of the game. Emma Vukic sent in a perfect cross, and it took a punch from Pirates' keeper Andrea Stump to prevent the ball from reaching Fellows' head.
The Wildcats set the pace early and controlled the flow of the game from the start. Whitworth (6-5-1, 6-1-1, 19 points) NWC had trouble clearing the ball, and the 'Cats continued to string passes together and push into the box.
Moving through the mid part of the half, the Pirates began to establish some offensive rhythm, and Linfield keeper Taylor Collinsworth had several touches on the ball.
Linfield's best chance of the first half came with just under eight minutes remaining as Fellows gained control of the ball inside the box. Her shot glanced off of the crossbar.
With five minutes remaining Whitworth won its first corner of the game, and after moving the ball into the box, Katrin Grant scored from close range on the Pirates' first shot of the game.
Despite being outshot 13-1 in the half, Whitworth carried the 1-0 advantage into the break. The 'Cats forced Stump to make four saves, thanks in large part to five corner kicks.
Just three minutes into the second half, Stephanie Socotch gained possession at the top of the 18-yard box and curled a left-footed shot past Stump and into the lower right corner of the net to even the score at 1-1.
With half an hour to play, the Pirates came close to regaining the lead. After a foul just outside the box, Carly Schilperoort took a shot on a set piece that appeared to be on its way to the net, but the ball rattled off the crossbar and the game remained tied.
With just over 15 minutes remaining, Grant weaved her way through Linfield's back line and had a one-on-one with Collinsworth. The Wildcats' keeper came off her line and smothered the loose ball. Though she was injured on the play, she stayed in the game.
Both teams battled hard through the final whistle, but the clock ran out with the score stuck at 1-1.
With a pair of back-to-back corner kicks to open the first period, the Pirates nearly sneaked away with a victory.
The 'Cats battled strongly, and earned a corner kick of their own in the waning seconds of the first overtime. Fellows ended the match with the header goal, her 11th of the season.
Whitworth returns home to host Whitman on Wednesday afternoon as the Pirates open the second half of conference play.