NWC-Deciding Matches Await Pirates in Tacoma

NWC-Deciding Matches Await Pirates in Tacoma

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates travel to Tacoma this weekend for a pair of conference-deciding matches with Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran.

The Pirates open against the third place Loggers on Saturday, Oct. 28 before taking on the second place Lutes on Sunday, Oct. 29. Both matches kick-off at noon.

The Whitworth women's soccer schedule has live links for both matches this weekend.

The Pirates: Whitworth (11-4-1, 10-1-1 NWC) leads the Northwest Conference after a pair of wins last weekend. The Pirates defeated George Fox 2-0 and blew out Pacific (Ore.) 5-1.

Leah Corra and NWC Student-Athlete of the Week Michele Whan both scored in Whitworth's opening 2-0 victory over the Bruins. Corra knocked in her seventh goal of the year on a cross from McKenzie Hemp, while Whan created spaced for herself and chipped in a short score. 

On Sunday, both Corra and Whan struck again. Whan drilled home a 20-yard shot from the top of the penalty area, and Corra found herself one-on-one with the goalkeeper before buring her eighth goal of the season. The pair were two of five Pirates who scored in the 5-1 rout of the Boxers.

Home Sweet Home: During second-year head coach Bryan Olson's tenure at Whitworth, the Pirates are 14-2-1 playing on the Whitworth Soccer Field. In 2016, Whitworth finished 7-1 at home, and the Pirates are 7-1-1 in Spokane this season.

Getting Defensive: The Pirates have shut out opponents in nearly half of their matches this season. Their seven shutouts are the third most in the Northwest Conference.

Super Striker: Leah Corra already eclipsed her goal total from last season, scoring eight times this year. The senior is tied for second on the NWC goals leaderboard and picked up her second assist against Lewis & Clark. 

Magnificent Molly: In her first year as a Pirate, goalkeeper Molly Webster is establishing herself as one of the best netminders in the NWC. The junior is third in the conference in goals against average (.72), third in total goals against (7), and fourth in save percentage (.811).

The Loggers: Puget Sound (10-3-3, 8-2-2 NWC) enters its match with Whitworth in third place in the Northwest Conference. Last week, the Loggers took down Pacific Lutheran 1-0 before dominating Lewis & Clark 4-0.

The Loggers are one of only two teams in the NWC who have allowed less goals than Whitworth. They're led by goalkeeper Jamie Lange, who is second in the conference in goals against average (.51) and save percentage (.908). Lange has been awarded NWC Student-Athlete of the Week three times this season. 

When the Pirates and Loggers last met, Puget Sound scored a last-minute goal to secure a tie in Spokane. Corra and Kelly Wucherer found the back of the net for Whitworth in the 2-2 draw.

The Lutes: Pacific Lutheran (13-3, 10-2 NWC) is just one point behind Whitworth in the race for the NWC title. The Lutes are coming off a 2-0 victory over Willamette, which followed a 1-0 loss to the Loggers. 

Pacific Lutheran, by nearly every metric, is the best defensive team in the NWC. They're led by Natalie Robinson, who's goals against average (.19) and save percentage (.927) both lead the conference. Offensively, Machaela Graddy leads the Lutes with eight goals and seven assists.

Last time the Pirates and Lutes squared off, Whitworth came out on top with a 1-0 win. Corra scored the match-winner on an assist from Hemp.

Looking Ahead: After their trip to Tacoma, the Pirates travel to Walla Walla on Wednesday, November 1st. They'll take on Whitman at 5:00 p.m. Then, Whitworth returns home to battle Linfield on Senior Day. That match is on Saturday, November 4th and begins at noon.