by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – After a tough weekend at home, the Whitworth Pirates will have an opportunity to bounce back on the road this week when they take on Whitman and Pacific (Ore.)
The Pirates take on the Blues in a midweek road contest on Wednesday, Oct. 17. They square off with the Boxers in Forrest Grove on Sunday, Oct. 21.
Video and live statistics links will be available on the Whitworth women's soccer schedule.
The Pirates: Whitworth (7-4-3, 5-3-2 NWC) dropped both of its matches last weekend against Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran. The Pirates struggled to create scoring chances and only took five shots on goal between the two matches. The Lutes and Loggers took advantage. Both road teams scored the first goal of the match before buckling down on defense to earn shutout wins against the Pirates.
Magnificent Molly: Since she transferred to Whitworth Molly Webster has been one of the best goalkeepers in the Northwest Conference. The senior is third in the NWC in saves (58) and sits in fifth in save percentage (.806) and goals against average (1.02).
Clutch Coby: Senior forward Coby Yoshimura has been nothing but clutch for the Pirates. Yoshimura is second in the Northwest Conference with three match-winning goals this season. The senior scored go-ahead goals against Carroll (Mont.), Whitman, and Linfield.
Working Overtime: The Pirates put in plenty of extra work early in their season. Four of Whitworth's first six matches needed overtime, and the Bucs went 2-0-2 in those contests. Whitworth remains undefeated (2-0-3) in overtime after its tie with Lewis & Clark last weekend.
Home Sweet Home: During third-year head coach Bryan Olson's tenure at Whitworth, the Pirates are 18-4-2 playing on the Whitworth Soccer Field. After their losses last weekend the Bucs are 3-2-1 at home in 2018 after a combined record of 15-2-1 the two years prior. Whitworth returns to their home field on Saturday, Oct. 27 to take on Willamette.
The Blues: Whitman (3-10-1, 3-7 NWC) is also coming off two shutout losses to Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran. The Blues dropped both of their matches 2-0 last weekend and will be looking to bounce back against the Bucs. Sofia Ellington leads the Whitman offense. The senior is tied for the NWC lead with 7 goals on the year and her 3 assists give Ellington a total of 17 points. Three goalkeepers have split time for the Blues this year, totaling a 2.50 goals against average and a .705 save percentage between them. The Pirates defeated the Blues 3-1 when the two teams played in September. Arielle Van Peursem and Coby Yoshimura scored in the victory.
The Boxers: Pacific (2-11-1, 2-7-1 NWC) snapped a seven-match winless streak last weekend with a 2-0 win over Lewis & Clark after posting a 0-0 tie with George Fox. The Boxers have struggled to score in 2018, posting the second-fewest goals during NWC play. Pacific goalkeeper Saya Brown has done her best to keep her team in games this year. Her 62 saves are second-most in the conference and Brown also has a .775 save percentage. Emily Thompson is the Boxers' best attacker. She comes into the weekend with five goals and one assist. Whitworth shut out Pacific 1-0 when the two teams played in Spokane. Rachel Wofford scored the match's only goal with a sliding shot in the 39th minute.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates play their final home matches of the season the weekend of Oct. 27-28. Whitworth takes on Willamette on Saturday, Oct. 27, before battling Linfield the following day.
The Coach: Bryan Olson was named the head coach for the Pirate women's soccer team in February of 2016 and enters his third year leading the Bucs in the fall of 2018. In his two seasons at the helm, Whitworth has a 22-16-2 overall record and a 20-10-2 mark in the Northwest Conference.
Olson was the top assistant coach for the Whitworth men's soccer team for six seasons prior to leading the women's team. His title was elevated to Associate Head Coach ahead of the 2015 season. Over that time the Pirate men's team posted a record of 66-17-12 and made the NCAA Division III Tournament three times (2012, 2014 and 2015).