Sunday, November 3, 2013

Whitworth women snare 1-0 win in home finale; Wren leads men to 3-0 win

The Whitworth men will celebrate Senior Day next Saturday vs regional foe Whitman | Photos: Gerald Barnhart
The Whitworth women closed out their home slate with their eighth conference play shutout performance and claimed the victory against visiting Lewis & Clark on a late goal from Jackie Day, and the Pirate men had yet another easy go of it as they blanked Linfield 3-0 in a game in which reserves saw plenty of action and defender Will Wren tallied a brace playing up top.

Lewis & Clark College 0 :: 1 Whitworth University - WOMEN (GALLERY)

It was the same storyline that has played out time after time over much of the conference campaign for the lady Pirates as they completely dominated the contest but looked headed toward a scoreless outcome. Instead, junior Jackie Day provided the winning tally on a day full of chances with 15 minutes left in the match, sending the five seniors - Amber Craig, Jami Hegg, Abbie Mosely, Amy Sterk and Kristin Wucherer (pictured above) - out with a win in their home finale.

"All of them had very good games," Whitworth head coach Jael Hagerott said of the five seniors. "Amber Craig had a fantastic day up top for us along with Kristin Wucherer; Abbie and Amy Sterk were solid in the middle; and Jami was very consistent in the back. It was a good win for us as a group and for them, particularly since it was their last home game here. The team overall played well so I think it was a good way to end here."

The opportunities started virtually from the opening whistle as the Pirates had what looked like two certain goals in the very first minute of play. Thirty-eight seconds into the contest Craig nearly scored on a header from around the penalty spot off a cross sent in from the right side and with five seconds remaining in the debut minute a cross from Molly Smith out on the right side was nearly volleyed home from about 10 yards by Aaren Sherpe, who came crashing into the area directly in front of the left post. Her strike, however, smacked off top of the right post.

In the 23rd minute Mosely nearly stunned everyone with a surprising effort from about 40 yards that arced over goalkeeper Geena Fong only to drop on the wrong side of the crossbar.

In the 29th minute Smith got the ball behind the defense and fired a shot from about 15 yards on the right side that forced Fong to tip it over. Less than a minute later a breakaway for Tiara Pajimola looked to be the difference maker as the goalkeeper was already out of the goal and went to challenge the sophomore striker. Pajimola beat Fong, but was unable to recollect the ball with a good enough angle to put it inside the empty net.

The second half was much of the same, though the Pioneers were able to downgrade the Whitworth opportunities to open looks instead of dangerous near-goals.

The first good opportunity would come in the 67th minute when Day took the ball down the left side of the box and crossed it in from the end line, but Craig was unable to fully rise and connect with the ball as it glanced off her head at the six and away from goal.

In the 74th minute the Pioneers, who were outshot 17-8 and never really posed and dangerous threat, had their best opportunity of the game when a corner into the box was headed toward goal by Anna Thorndike, but the effort slipped just over the bar and fell into the top netting.

Just over a minute later the Pirates finally found their winning tally. On a scramble in the box Day had her first effort blocked before she knocked in her own rebound past the prone keeper, ending a five-game winless stretch of 0-2-3.

Andrea Stump only needed to make two saves for the shutout, her eighth of the season.

"You never know how the season is going to start; wouldn't have predicted this many injuries at all. The shutouts are a good thing for us, I guess, because we are not conceding goals, but it would have been nice if we could have won a few more games though."

Linfield College 0 :: 3 Whitworth University - MEN (GALLERY)

With the conference title out of reach for the second-place Pirates, coach Morgan Cathey put out a starting lineup consisting of some of the second string players and it nearly netted an early lead three minutes in when Karl Muelheims struck a nice shot from about 15 yards out just left of center that slammed off the upper half of the right post.

After that, it became the Will Wren show in the first half as the defender spent most of the half playing up top for the Pirates.

In the 26th minute of the contest Sam Selisch received the ball about 38 yards out from goal and played a through ball that put Wren on a break. He took it towards the right corner of the six, where he placed it perfectly past a defender and goalkeeper Grant Loriaux.

With a little under two minutes left in the half he beat a defender on the left side and fired into the far back corner of the goal from about 16 yards out to give the hosts a commanding lead to accompany their decided advantage in the run of play.

The second half saw a plethora of changes for Whitworth as more players on the depth chart came into the contest.

With a little under 20 minutes to go Jonah Brown went down the left flank before finding Samual Jarrett, who touched the ball past the keeper to wrap up the scoring.

Starter Timmy Costa and sub Shane Nishioka-Healy posted a combined three saves in the shutout as most of the dozen shots from Linfield were off the mark.


Men: Whitworth v Whitman 1:30 (Senior Day)
Women: Whitworth @ George Fox