McMinnville, Ore. – Whitworth took a second-half lead, but the visiting Pirates would drop a 3-2 heartbreaking decision to league-leading Linfield on Sunday afternoon.
The Wildcats improved to 14-1-1 overall and 9-1-1 in the NWC, holding on to sole possession of first place in the conference standings. Whitworth fell to 6-7-4, 3-6-4.
Tegan Grunwald scored the match winner with just over three minutes left in the second extra period, from a direct free kick off of the foot of Lauren Pyrch.
NWC-leading scorer Emily Fellows gave Linfield a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute with her 18th goal of the season.
But the Pirates shocked the hosts with a pair of goals just over five minutes apart, spanning the first and second halves. Tiara Pajimola set up a goal by Molly Smith in the 44th minute, driving deep into the box and dropping off to Smith for her first goal of the season.
Then Jami Hegg converted a direct free kick from just outside of the penalty area in the 49th minute to give Whitworth a 2-1 lead. It was Hegg's third goal of the year.
Ellie Schmidt tied the match in the 55th minute off of an assist by Emma Vukic.
Linfield outshot Whitworth 33-5, including a 17-4 edge in shots on goal. But Whitworth keeper Andrea Stump made 14 saves to keep the Pirates going toe-to-toe with the Wildcats.
Whitworth will return home to host Willamette and Lewis & Clark next weekend.