Monday, October 6, 2014

Women register upset as Whitworth splits versus Puget Sound

Tiara Pajimola scored for the ladies, but Sam Engle was unable to do the same for the men
It was a role reversal Sunday afternoon at Whitworth with the Lady Pirates claiming a victory, 1-0 over unbeaten Puget Sound, while the unbeaten Bucs fell 2-0 in their men's showdown of Northwest Conference contenders against the Loggers. Tiara Pajimola was the lone goal scorer for the hosts on the day.


The Whitworth women added more to weekend woes for previously 15th ranked Puget Sound, which fell 1-0 Saturday at Whitman before venturing north to Spokane.

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Tiara Pajimola (Spokane, WA) was back to her old self, showing some vibrance creatively. It started early on with her finishing a ball from Katie Bischoff (Spokane, WA) just over two minutes into the contest.

"It was a beautiful sequence," said Whitworth head coach Jael Hagerott. "Credit to Tiara in finally getting in. We talked about selling out in the box, and she did. But, that was teamwork to get it to that point."

Now trailing, the Loggers pushed hard for an equalizer in the first half and finished with a 15-2 advantage in shots for the period. Andrea Stump, though, made six saves to keep them off the board and the defensive unit did well in the second half to limit the visitors to just two shots as the game became more of a midfield battle.

"It's the first time, really, that we've had a lead and we were able to hold onto it. We only scored three minutes into the game so that was good on the team's part to hold stead like that and get a result against UPS - they are a good team."

The Pirates, however, almost doubled the lead early in the second half off a corner kick, but the deflection inside the six hit the crossbar and was deemed, controversially, to not have crossed the line by the officials.


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Open space on a pair of plays allowed the Loggers to get the better of the Pirates in a battle of the top two sides in the conference Sunday despite Whitworth have the far greater amount of possession and spending much more time in the attacking third with the ball.

Five minutes into the match a quick counter down the open right side of the offensive third allowed Sam Naatz to take the ball to the end line and slip a well-paced ball in to the six where Andrew White slid in and knocked it inside the near post for the lead.

The Loggers doubled the lead when Connor Laferriere found himself with plenty of space about 35 yards out in the 26th and ripped a shot that snuck inside the left post.

"They are a team that won't connect passes and their only passes are to bang the ball up the field, and we knew that going into the game," said Whitworth head coach Morgan Cathey. "They are good at what they do; that's not saying that that's not an effective way to play the game. It's just - we knew we would have control of the game, but we knew we had to be on point the 30 percent of the time we didn't have the ball, which we weren't. Yesterday, we were.

From that point, the visitors were even more than content to knock the ball away and up the field at every opportunity.

Between goals, Sam Engle nearly had an equalizer in the 18th minute when a corner was played out to him at the top of the box, but his effort missed the upper corner.

Thirty minutes in Engle had another chance. Rylan Berriman collected the ball just left of midfield, turned and drove up the field before slipping the ball to the striker. Engle then battled though several defenders to create enough space, sending a 28-yard effort toward the lower left corner, forcing a nice diving save.

With 10 minutes left in the half the Pirates worked the ball into the box and created their best opportunity of the afternoon, but Jonah Snyder's shot from about eight yards smacked off the bottom of the left post.

Four minutes into the second half, the woodwork again denied Whitworth. Colin Shockman served a ball in from midfield that Engle rose up to meet, but his header from about 16 yards caromed off the crossbar.

"We created some good chances. I thought we should of at least had one goal, but we didn't. We lacked a little bit of killer instinct and desire in front of goal a little bit today, but more importantly from the start weren't ready to defend with everything we had knowing that long shots and quick flicks was what was going to kill us.

As the game progressed, the Pirates continued to press the issue, but each attempt came up shy in some fashion either due to a poor final ball or a defensive stop. The performance raised the question if the team missed leading scorer Mike Ramos who was not available over the weekend due to personal reasons, but the team posted a 1-0 win Saturday against Pacific Lutheran and had similar games in which scoring was hard to come by even with his presence.

"It's unfortunate; I'm upset as any of our guys because we were the better team and we lost," he said, voicing frustration of the result and how it happened. "They were more effective at what they do, which is a travesty in soccer, I believe."

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