««« WOMEN »»» WHITMAN COLLEGE 0-1 WHITWORTH UNIVERSITY
The Warriors nearly grabbed the lead in the 28th minute of the contest when a ball rolled out of the box to Linnea Soo, who fired a shot from about 24 yards that smacked off the left corner of the crossbar.
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In the 63rd minute the Missionaries had the first good look of the second half when Elyse Laurin served a cross in from the right that soared long over the six, but Linnea Soo (pictured above) was there to one-time a shot toward the near post that goalkeeper Andrea Stump handled well with a firm catch despite the wet conditions.
Two minutes later the Pirates nearly broke through when the ball was played forward to Tiara Pajimola (Spokane, WA). She quickly fed the ball to Megan McCart (East Wenatchee, WA) outside the right corner of the box, setting her up for a shot from 23 yards that rolled just wide of the left post.
In the 79th minute the visitors again had a chance to grab the victory. Merlino collected the ball on the left side of the area but Stump charged out on the play just in time to dive in and stuff the shot from about 14 yards out as it came off her foot.
With the door left open, the Pirates stunned the Missionaries, avenging their earlier 2-1 loss in Walla Walla to open league play. Inside the final two minutes the Pirates struck pay dirt with a corner kick.
The dead ball was sent in by Sarah Mickelson, landing in the area and resulting in a scramble that saw a couple shots blocked before it popped back to defender Hannah Bokma (Spokane, WA) for the finish from about 13 yards out in front of the right post.
««« WOMEN »»» WALLA WALLA CC 0-2 CC SPOKANE
Dominant throughout the contest, all the Sasquatch needed was the pair of goals they got in the first 24 minutes, officially clinching the Bigfoot a playoff berth and giving them a six-point margin over second-place Treasure Valley CC, who played to a draw earlier in the day.
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Just over five minutes later Melvin (pictured above center) nearly got a goal of her own when she sent a strike off the crossbar from about 19 yards.
The Bigfoot doubled the lead in the 24th off a corner. The Sydni Thomas (Greenacres, WA) service in from the right found Hannah Sanders (Kennewick, WA), who knocked it in from about eight yards.
Five minutes later Sanders nearly had a second with a 24 yard shot that deflected en route to goal, eliciting a nice diving save from goalkeeper Annika Enloe (Leavenworth, WA), who made 11 stops in the contest.
The hosts nearly scored two minutes into the second half as well with Welch on a breakaway, but Enloe came out and stopped the chance. Three minutes later she made another series of nice stops after the Bigfoot had brought the ball into the area.
Walla Walla's best chance of the contest came in the 69th minute when Oryian Matheny (Grandview, WA) dribbled past a defender for an open shot from about 25 yards, but sent it high.
Samantha Burmester, hardly tested, technically made two saves in the match for the shutout, the team's new single-season record 13th of the season.
««« MEN »»» WALLA WALLA CC 2-2 CC SPOKANE
The Bigfoot men nearly suffered the first loss of the day for the hosts, but rallied with a pair of equalizers late in each half to earn the draw between two sides both battling for the third playoff berth in the division amidst the cold and damp conditions.
Walla Walla jumped in front on a free kick, continuing a string of goals allowed as the result of free kicks to four consecutive. The 11th minute set piece from the midfield line was sent into the box where Brandon Babinski (Spokane, WA), with a defender challenging the header off his shoulder, accidentally headed it directly backwards past Damian Ruiz (Richland, WA).
They did level terms in the 18th, however, when Devin Leon broke through in the box, but with little control as he streaked past the left post he was able to get off a decently-paced shot that caromed off the post. The ricochet took the ball all the way out to the top of the box to Opland, who blasted it into the semi-open goal.
They nearly added to it for the lead a minute later with a scare on a corner kick, but it was Walla Walla that went into the half on top once again with an unchallenged Francisco Sanchez (Walla Walla, WA) ripping a fantastic strike from about 40 yards that beat Ruiz.
Things were back and forth in the second half, but the pace picked up around the 67th with both sides threatening to score. Spokane had the first chance on a corner sent in from the right side that ended up being lofted back in on the left side from the top of the area. Peter Sokolis (Spokane, WA) attempted to bike the ball, but did not get enough on it, instead deflecting it to Jonathan Cruz, whose shot was nicely saved by Francisco Flores (Milton-Freewater, OR).
Then the Warriors took their turn. Less than a minute later Jessie Garcia launched a nice effort from about 35 yards out on the left side that was curling toward the near post before Ruiz dove to knock it away. They immediately followed it up with a corner that came back out to the top of the box where Christian Vega (Walla Walla, WA) zipped a shot just over goal.
In the 74th minute Leon nearly had a near-bike of his own, but the volley from about 16 yards just missed the goal.
Spokane finally found the equalizer in the 84th minute when the ball was turned over at midfield and quickly played forward with Opland finding Robert Smith (Spokane, WA) for the finish from an angle about 12 yards out.
The result left the two sides separated by just one point with the Warriors sitting in the final playoff position in front of Spokane.
««« Action Photos: Gerald Barnhart »»»