by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SALEM, Ore. – Whitworth women's soccer dropped their first match of the conference season 2-0 to the Willamette Bearcats.
The loss drops the Pirates to 7-1-1 in the Northwest Conference and 8-4-1 overall. Whitworth's conference record puts them in second place behind Pacific Lutheran. Willamette jumps to third place at 5-3-1 in the NWC (7-3-2 overall).
The Pirates were outgunned from the match's outset. Willamette scored their first goal 17 minutes in when Fionn Fortune received a pass from Yuma Matsuyama and sent a shot to the back of the net.
It would be emblematic of a first half in which the Bearcats took 12 more shots and four more shots on goal than the Pirates, who struggled to maintain possession throughout the half. Sarah Cool and Coby Yoshimura both sent in shots on goal, but both were saved and the Pirates headed into halftime down 1-0.
The second half started in more promising fashion as Whitworth kept possession of the ball for longer stretches of time. However, they weren't able to connect enough passes in the attacking third to pose a threat to Willamette goalkeeper Kristen Barclay.
The Pirates needed to connect those passes after the 62nd minute when Rachael Moulton booted a 30-yard free kick past the Whitworth defense to extend the Bearcat lead to 2-0.
Willamette finished the match with a decisive advantage in shots (23-6) and shots on goal (9-4). Sienna Tanner's performance was a bright spot for the Pirates as she saved seven Bearcat shots, a season-high for the senior. Barclay saved four shots.
Next up, Whitworth travels to Portland to take on Lewis & Clark. When the two teams met early in the season, the Pirates won 3-0 and didn't allow the Pioneers to take a shot on goal. Jadyn Baumgartner, Sydney Weiler, and Leah Corra each scored for Whitworth in that match.