by Kelsey Segren, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth women's soccer team finishes the first half of Northwest Conference play in Spokane with matches against Willamette and Lewis & Clark this coming weekend.
The Pirates face the Bearcats on Saturday, Oct. 12 and then battle the Pioneers on Sunday, Oct. 13. Both matches kick off at noon.
Video and live statistics links will be available on the Whitworth women's soccer schedule.
The Pirates: Whitworth (2-7-1, 1-4-1 NWC) returns to Spokane after starting off conference play with five of six matches on the road. The Pirates come into the weekend after a scoreless tie at Pacific (Ore.) on Friday and a 3-2 loss at Linfield on Sunday.
The Bucs led the match at Pacific offensively outshooting the Boxers 16-7 but could not get by Pacific's defense. The Pirates forced Boxers goalkeeper Saya Brown to make six saves in the first half, but Brown only needed to make one save the rest of the match.
The Pirates led the Wildcats 2-1 at the half in Sunday's match, but were unable to hold onto the win as Linfield scored two second half goals, including a game-tying penalty kick, to earn the victory. Brixiada Mendoza and Hannah Miller scored the Pirates' first half goals. Eight of the Bucs' nine shots were on goal.
Home Sweet Home: During fourth-year head coach Bryan Olson's tenure at Whitworth, the Pirates are 22-5-2 playing on the Whitworth Soccer Field. In 2017, the Pirates went 8-1-1 in Spokane and they were 5-2-1 last year.
Seven of the Pirates' next eight matches are at home.
The Bearcats: Willamette (5-4-1, 4-1-1 NWC) comes into Spokane after a 2-1 overtime win against Lewis & Clark last Wednesday and a 4-1 loss to Pacific Lutheran on Sunday. The loss was the Bearcats first in NWC play, snapping a five-match unbeaten streak. Senior Shanna Keil leads the team with five goals, which is tied for fourth in the conference. The Bearcats are tied for third in the conference in goals with 16. Whitworth and Willamette tied their season series last year with each team winning 2-0 on their own home field.
The Pioneers: Lewis & Clark (3-6-1, 2-4 NWC) enters Spokane on a four-match losing streak. The Pios were defeated by Willamette 2-1 in overtime last Wednesday and then were shut out by Puget Sound 2-0 on Sunday. Lewis & Clark has struggled to score this season, ranking last in the NWC with seven goals on the year. Whitworth won the season series with Lewis & Clark last year, tying 0-0 in Spokane and winning 2-1 in Portland.
Looking Ahead: Whitworth will continue its five-match homestand as they face Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound on Oct. 19-20.
The Coach: Bryan Olson was named the head coach for the Pirate women's soccer team in February of 2016 and enters his fourth year leading the Bucs in the fall of 2019. In his three seasons at the helm, Whitworth has a 34-21-5 overall record and a 30-14-4 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).