by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
PORTLAND, Ore. – After their first conference loss of the season, Whitworth women's soccer bounced back in a big way with a decisive 5-1 win over the Lewis & Clark Pioneers.
The win bumps the Pirates' record to 8-1-1 in the Northwest Conference and 9-4-1 overall. It also keeps Whitworth in second place in the NWC, just one point behind Pacific Lutheran. Lewis & Clark falls to 2-7-1 in NWC play and 3-9-2 overall.
The Pirates took control in the earliest moments of the match. Whitworth defenders scored a pair of goals in the first matchup between the Pirates and Pioneers and it looked like they would score a couple more on Sunday. Sydney Weiler and Jadyn Baumgartner had plenty of space to work and the duo often dribbled well in to the midfield before meeting a Pioneer.
After several attempts to probe through the Lewis & Clark defense, Baumgartner found enough space to facilitate in the 28th minute. She drove in through several Pioneers before finding Leah Corra. The senior booted home her team-leading sixth goal of the season to give Whitworth a 1-0 advantage.
The Pirates didn't wait to add on, picking up their second goal in the 34th minute. Courtney Potter beat a Pioneer defender to a long pass and snuck her first goal of the season past Lewis & Clark goalkeeper Hannah Osmundson.
Since all good things come in threes, Whitworth added another goal before the end of the first half. After a Pioneer defender shoved Hannah Rae Miller in the penalty box, Coby Yoshimura stepped to the penalty spot to take advantage of the miscue. She did, burying the first goal of her Whitworth career in the bottom-left corner of the net.
The 44th minute goal gave the Pirates a 3-0 lead heading into halftime, but the Pioneers came out of the break looking to pull off a comeback. Courtney Schmidt took a pass from Kennie Beighle and sent a shot past Molly Webster to end the shutout in the 50th minute.
Whitworth answered 17 minutes later. Corra sliced through the Pioneer defense before sliding a pass to McKenzie Hemp, whose left-footed strike put the Pirates up 4-1.
The Pirates tacked on yet another goal off the foot of Ivahnna Espinoza to extend the lead to 5-1. The goal was Espinoza's first of the season, and she nearly scored again in the 83rd minute on a run that took her all the way to the goal box.
After the lone Pioneer goal, the Pirate defense kicked back in to gear as well. Weiler, Diana DeWald, and Tatem Fredrickson anchored the back line as Whitworth held the lead and secured its ninth win of the season.
Next weekend, the Pirates return home for their first match on the Whitworth Soccer Field in three weeks. Whitworth takes on George Fox and Pacific (Ore.) on Saturday, Oct. 21 and Sunday, Oct. 22. Both matches start at noon.