Saturday, October 12, 2013

Whitworth women edge George Fox 1-0 in dominant performance

One goal was all the Pirates needed versus George Fox Saturday | Photos: Gerald Barnhart - GALLERY
In a game that was far closer on the scoreboard than what the possession and opportunities could have led to, the Whitworth women earned a narrow 1-0 victory against visiting George Fox University Saturday afternoon. The Pirates had chance after chance throughout the contest, but it was Kristin Wucherer's tally in the 49th minute that stood as the deciding tally.

The game started out fairly even with both teams creating some opportunities in the first 15 minutes or so of the contest, but from there on out the possession and better of play turned well in favor of the shorthanded hosts.

"It was a good performance by the team on the whole; we had some of our best ball movement," said Whitworth head coach Jael Hagerott. "We've been hammered by injuries this year so we had 14 healthy field players today so we switched systems. I think it was effective and we created many goalscoring chances that unfortunately we did not finish.

Tiara Pajimola
The close calls for the Pirates began in earnest in the 20th minute when Tiara Pajimola blocked a ball being played out of the back, creating a break inside the area that she finished with a near post blast that the keeper Alyssa Montero saved nicely. On the subsequent corner Pajimola rose above the defense and got her head to it only to see it go high.

Three minutes later a loose ball on the left side of the box after a block is put on goal from about 15 yards by Wucherer that was denied by the keeper.

At the half-hour mark Pajimola, who created chance after chance either as a recipient in the area or streaking down the right side with her pace and serving it in, brought the ball down in the box and dropped to shoot from about eight yards with a defender on her shoulder, but narrowly sent it wide right. She sent another effort high with 10 minutes left and with four minutes to go before the break launched a cross from the right side that floated goal ward and narrowly missed the left post.

The final look of the half came with three minutes left when Jami Hegg brought the ball forward up the right side and served a ball across the area. Pajimola missed a head about 15 yards out in the middle of the box, allowing it to fall to Wucherer, who whistled it just over the bar from about 16 yards.

Kristin Wucherer
Four minutes into the second half, what looked like an innocuous could at midfield proved costly for George Fox as Whitworth took the restart, passing it toward the left side. They worked it methodically with a nice combination of passes up the left, finishing with Jackie Day delivering it inside to Wucherer, who took one touch to control before placing it inside the goal with the outside of her boot from near the top of the box.

"Credit to Wuch, she hit several over the bar in the first half and worked on keeping it down - beautiful ball by Jackie Day," Hagerott said of the score.

Wucherer nearly added a second just two minutes later when a long ball put Pajimola through a gap in the high George Fox back line. She drove to the right corner of the area before releasing a cross that Wucherer nearly got her head to.

Pajimola came close to scoring yet again in the 55th when a header at midfield put her behind the defense. She drove in and ripped a close-range effort to the near right post that Montero stopped. The rebound fell back to Pajimola, but her hastily taken second attempt went high.

The Pirates had one last good look with 10 minutes left as Pajimola ran onto a ball and took it toward the end line on the right side before crossing it waist-high into the six where it zipped past Amber Craig and Molly Smith, who were unable to get a touch to it to knock it home.

The lone goal, though, was all the Pirates needed as they outshot the Bruins by a wide margin, 18-2, allowing goalkeeper Andrea Stump to have a rather quiet afternoon in goal.

"Dre was solid in the back, handling Hannah Langbehn between Jami Hegg and Hannah Bokma on the outsides; excellent distribution and they were composed under pressure, making good decisions on the whole."