Whan, Tanner Star in 3-2 Senior Day Win

Whan, Tanner Star in 3-2 Senior Day Win

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant

SPOKANE, Wash. – Two goals from Michele Whan powered the Whitworth Pirates to a 3-2 senior day victory over the Linfield Wildcats.

The Pirates finish the season with a 12-6-2 overall record and an 11-3-2 Northwest Conference mark. Barring a surprising Puget Sound loss or tie on Sunday, Whitworth will finish in third place in the NWC. The Wildcats fall to 8-9-2 overall and 6-7-2 in the NWC.

"Thankful to finish a great season with some great soccer at home," head coach Bryan Olson said. "We got to send off this group of ten seniors in a fantastic way."

Linfield controlled possession for the first 20 minutes of the match. The Wildcats took five corner kicks in that time, but only landed one shot on goal as the Pirates survived each one thanks to stellar defending from Sydney Weiler and Diana DeWald.

After skating through those initial moments, the Pirates pounced with two goals in one minute. 

Michele Whan got Whitworth started with her fifth goal of the year. Whan took in a tapped pass from Kelly Wucherer and slid the first score of the match into the goal's lower left corner.

Just 56 seconds later, Wucherer booted home a goal of her own. The junior volleyed a cross from Jennifer Loehner into the back of the net to give the Pirates a 2-0 advantage. The goal was Wucherer's third of the year, and the assist was Loehner's first.

Linfield's Kristen Burke knocked in her fifth goal of the season to cut the Pirates' lead in half before the break, and Whitworth hit the locker rooms with a 2-1 advantage.

Whan wasted little time getting the goal back after halftime. The senior dribbled past two defenders and loosed an 18-yard strike to the back of the net for her sixth goal of the season.

"Michele was tremendous today," Olson said. 

The Wildcats didn't quit. An 80th minute goal from Emma Smith brought Linfield within one goal once again, and the Wildcats sent attack after attack at Whitworth's defense.

Sienna Tanner made several crucial saves, including a sliding stop on what looked like a sure goal, to keep the Pirates in front and secure the victory. The senior finished with four saves and allowed just the goal to Smith.

"Sienna was fantastic, as she always is," Olson said. "She came up huge for us today on a number of occasions."