by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash – After finishing up an undefeated first half of the season for the first time since 2004, Whitworth women's soccer opens the second half taking on Lewis & Clark, and Willamette this weekend.
The Pirates open the weekend against the Bearcats on Saturday, Oct 14 before traveling to Portland to battle the Pioneers on Sunday, Oct. 15. Both matches are scheduled to begin at Noon.
The Whitworth women's soccer schedule has live links for both matches this weekend.
The Pirates: Whitworth (8-3-1, 7-0-1 NWC) enters the weekend leading the Northwest Conference, one point above Pacific Lutheran. Last week, the Pirates stayed undefeated with two scrappy wins over Linfield and Whitman.
Michele Whan scored the Pirates' match-winner in a laborious 1-0 win over the Blues. Whitworth controlled the majority of the match, but struggled to connect passes in the attacking third.
They corrected those errors in a 3-2 victory over Linfield. After going down 1-0 in the fifth minute, the Pirates scored three straight goals to secure a win by the 60th minute.
Home Sweet Home: During second-year head coach Bryan Olson's tenure at Whitworth, the Pirates are 12-2-1 playing on the Whitworth Soccer Field. In 2016, Whitworth finished 7-1 at home, and the Pirates are 5-1-1 in Spokane this season.
Getting Defensive: The Pirates have shut out opponents in half of their matches this season. Their five shutouts are the second most in the Northwest Conference, and Whitworth's shutout percentage (.500) ranks 62nd-best nationally.
Super Striker: Leah Corra already eclipsed her goal total from last season, scoring five times this year. The senior sits in a tie for third on the NWC goals leaderboard and picked up her first assist against Linfield.
The Bearcats: Willamette (7-3-2, 4-3-1 NWC) comes in to their match against Whitworth sitting in fifth in the Northwest Conference. The Bearcats are coming off a tough weekend where they battled to a 0-0 tie with Puget Sound before losing 2-0 to George Fox.
Emmy Manset leads the Bearcats in scoring with five goals, tying her with Corra for third-best in the NWC. Kristen Barclay, Willamette's goalkeeper, allows the fourt-least goals in the NWC and has the fifth-most saves.
The Pirates and Bearcats squared off earlier this season in the NWC opener for both teams. Whitworth got the better of Willamette 2-1 with Whan and Kathryn Bischoff scoring the Pirates' goals.
The Pioneers: With only a few exceptions, Lewis & Clark (2-8-2, 1-6-1 NWC) has stayed competitive in every match but hasn't been able to pull out many wins this season. The Pioneers enter the weekend after a split weekend featuring a 2-0 win over Pacific (Ore.) with a 1-0 loss to Pacific Lutheran.
Courtney Schmidt's goal and two assists lead Lewis & Clark up front. At the back, goalkeepers Megan Sawyer and Hannah Osmundson combined for 72 saves so far this season. Osmundson's .833 save percentage is fourth-best in the NWC>
Last time the two teams faced off, the Pirate defense came to play. Whitworth's 3-0 win featured two goals by defenders and zero Pioneer shots on goal.
Looking Ahead: After their matches with the Pioneers and Bearcats, the Pirates return home to take on Pacific (Ore.) and George Fox. Whitworth takes on the Bruins Saturday, Oct. 21 and faces the Boxers Sunday, Oct. 22. Both matches start at Noon.