by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates picked up two wins on the road last weekend and will look to extend their win streak this weekend when they take on the Willamette Bearcats and Linfield Wildcats.
Whitworth opens the weekend against Willamette on Saturday, Oct. 27 before taking on Linfield the following day. Both matches begin at noon, and a senior day ceremony will follow Sunday's match.
Video and live statistics links will be available on the Whitworth women's soccer schedule.
The Pirates: Whitworth (9-4-3, 7-3-2 NWC) dominated its competition last week, defeating Whitman and Pacific (Ore.) by a combined score of 8-2. Hannah Rae Miller led Whitworth in a mid-week match against the Blues, scoring twice in a 3-0 victory. Molly Webster earned her third shutout of the year in the win.
The Bucs continued their offensive onslaught against the Boxers later that week. Arielle Van Peursem scored the lone first half goal for either team, and the Pirates got the attack all the way into gear in the second half. Brixiada Mendoza, Gabriella Coprivnicar, Kelly Wucherer, and Rachel Wofford each scored in the final 45 minutes to lead Whitworth to a 5-2 win.
Celebrating Seniors: The Pirates will celebrate their eight seniors in a ceremony directly after Sunday's match against Linfield. The celebration will be broadcast on Whitworth's live video portal.
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 (64) and sits in fifth in save percentage (.810) and goals against average (0.96).
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 two weeks ago.
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 to Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran the Bucs are 3-2-1 at home in 2018 after a combined record of 15-2-1 the two years prior.
The Bearcats: Willamette (11-2-3, 7-2-3 NWC) will be looking to bounce back this weekend after consecutive losses last week dropped the Bearcats from the top of the NWC standings. Willamette fell 2-1 to both George Fox and Puget Sound last week. Shanna Keil and Gina Main lead the Willamette attack. The duo tie for the team lead and second in the Northwest Conference with seven goals each. Kristen Barclay anchors the back line for the Bearcats. The junior is third in the NWC in save percentage (.833) and fourth in goals against average (0.65). Willamette defeated Whitworth 2-0 when the two teams played in September. Main and Lacey Jones both scored in the Bearcat win.
The Wildcats: Linfield (8-3-5, 5-2-5 NWC) enters the weekend on a six-match unbeaten streak since they last played the Pirates. The Wildcats have tied three times and won three times since dropping their last match against the Bucs, including a tie with Pacific Lutheran and a win over Lewis & Clark last weekend. The Linfield attack features NWC goals leader Sydney Kuehn, who has eight goals on the year. Michayla Sponsel leads the team in assists with four. Wildcat goalkeeper Madi Reimer is third in the NWC in goals against average (0.65) and fourth in save percentage (.828). Coby Yoshimura scored both of Whitworth's goals in its 2-1 victory over Linfield in September.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates close out the regular season in Oregon. Whitworth takes on George Fox and Lewis & Clark on Oct. 3 and 4.
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).