by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – After scoring a pair of 1-0 victories during their weekend in Oregon, Whitworth women's soccer returns home for showdowns against Northwest Conference powers Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran.
The Pirates take on the Loggers Saturday at Noon, and duel the Lutes on Sunday at Noon. Both matches will be on the Whitworth Soccer Field.
The Whitworth women's soccer schedule has live links for both matches this weekend.
The Pirates: Whitworth (5-3, 4-0 NWC) comes home after securing two shutout victories against George Fox and Pacific (Ore.) on the road.
The wins gave the Pirates their best start to Northwest Conference play since the 2012 team began 5-0.
Seniors Kathryn Bischoff and Leah Corra scored the Pirate goals, while Molly Webster and Sienna Tanner held the Bruins and Boxers scoreless to ensure Whitworth victories. The shutouts secured a three-match shutout streak entering this weekend.
Home Sweet Home: During second-year head coach Bryan Olson's tenure at Whitworth the Pirates are 10-2 playing on the Whitworth Soccer Field. In 2016, Whitworth finished 7-1 at home, and the Pirates are 3-1 in Spokane this season.
Getting Defensive: The Pirates have shut out opponents in half of their matches this season. Their four shutouts are the second most in the Northwest Conference, and Whitworth's shutout percentage (.500) ranks 70th-best nationally.
The Loggers: Puget Sound (4-3-1) currently sits in a tie for third in the Northwest Conference. The Loggers boast wins over George Fox and Lewis & Clark, but dropped matches to Pacific Lutheran and Linfield.
Jamie Lange anchors the Loggers from the back with a 0.73 GAA, good enough for second in the NWC. Up front, Tayla Macpherson, whose three goals are second-best in the NWC, does most of Puget Sound's scoring.
The Loggers and Pirates split their matches last season. Puget Sound dominated Whitworth on the way to a 5-2 victory in Tacoma, but the Pirates extracted revenge with a 1-0 overtime victory in Spokane.
The Lutes: Expectations were high for Pacific Lutheran (7-1, 4-0) entering the season, and they haven't disappointed with a 4-0 start to conference play.
The Lutes are anchored by their defense, which has allowed just one goal so far this season. Goalkeeper Natalie Robinson boasts an NWC-leading 0.12 GAA this year. Offensively, Machaela Graddy paces PLU with five assists, which also leads the conference.
Last season, the Lutes won both of the matches between the two teams. Pacific Lutheran won 1-0 in Parkland and 2-0 in Spokane.
Looking Ahead: After taking on the Lutes and Loggers, the Pirates are home for a Wednesday match against the Whitman Blues. Whitworth then travels to McMinnville, Ore. to square off with Linfield on Saturday, Oct. 7. The Pirates battle the Blues at 4:00 p.m. and face off with the Wildcats at Noon.