Sunday, September 1, 2013

Whitman College finds late winner to down Carroll University 1-0

Carroll plays Whitworth Monday, Whitman returns to face Pirates Sept 15 | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY
Playing host to Carroll University of Wisconsin away from home in Spokane, the Missionaries of Whitman College avoided a scoreless draw in a game they thoroughly controlled with a strike from Jade Anderson with slightly less than five minutes remaining at Whitworth University.

Jade Anderson
In a game in which quality chances were lacking for both sides, it took the switch of Anderson from defense to offense to deliver the game’s only tally as she shot from about 14 yards out on the left side of the box, putting the ball through the goalkeeper’s hands at the near post.

“We have an outside back who can also play forward for us, so we threw her up front with a little bit of fresh legs to get us some momentum going forward so we just utilized her skill in the box and she finished one for us,” said Whitman head coach Heather Cato about the goal. “Jade did a great job; she played the 90 minutes, and we needed her to play all 90 for us.”

Carroll, which remains in Spokane for one more contest Monday at noon against Whitworth, finished fourth in the Midwest Conference a year ago with a 7-3-0 conference mark and a 12-5-1 overall record.

“Carroll is a great competitor and we battled back and forth all game. We just had to stay on them, had to keep the pressure going,” said Cato. “We talk about five minute periods – five minutes after a goal, five minutes of a half. You just got to keep going in that last five minutes and we finally put one in the back of the net.

“I think we took 20 shots so finally got one, and one was the difference. I am proud of them. This is big, we finished the weekend and now we go to California next weekend on two wins so we’re pretty excited.”

The Missionaries had three good looks earlier in the contest that could also have served up the winner only to see things go awry. In the 39th minute they worked the ball down the left side and Pamela London had a chance deep in the box before being stopped, but the ball eventually popped out right of the spot where an open Kelsey Peck was unable to finish a golden prospect.

In the second half, Kelsey Roehner stole the ball from a defender eight minutes in and drove into the box only to see her shot from about 16 yards go right to the keeper. Three minutes before her winning tally Anderson gave Carroll a warning she would be dangerous, sending a shot from about the same area as she scored from only to see it roll just wide of the far post.

The story of the day for Whitman though was its defensive performance as they limited Carroll to just four shots, none of them really dangerous, and kept them from creating any truly dangerous opportunities.

Coach Heather Cato
“I think defensively we held our own and we did what we need to; a lot of pressure on the ball - we use the word fearless on defense. We minimized the actual goal scoring opportunities for them, which was helpful because then we were able to clean that up,” said Cato. “I think they had maybe two or three what I thought were opportunities that could have been a problem.

“Defensively, we are working at it; we’re older in the back – we’re juniors and seniors in the back – so that helps with our experience, but I am the pessimist when it comes to being the coach. We always have stuff we can improve on,” the coach added with a chuckle.

The victory was the second of the weekend for Whitman, who defeated NAIA program Northwest Christian University Friday 7-0, marking the first time since 2009 the program picked up two wins in a weekend. They will look for their first three-game win streak for the first time in that same time period when they travel to Santa Cruz, California next weekend to face La Verne Saturday and University of Redlands Sunday.

In the win Friday, Mackenzie Hughes scored the opening two goals, the first directly on a corner, and Roehner tallied a goal and two assists in the second half.

“We play in a great conference so we try to get good competition like Carroll and really challenge us going into season and so I think this was a good challenge for us, but we know we are going to have to do this day in and day out in order to compete in the Northwest Conference,” said Cato. We’re ready, but we also have some things we need to improve on.”