Women’s Soccer Triumphs Missionaries, Sinks to Pirates

Sara Levering, Staff Writer

The Linfield Wildcats travelled to the Whits this past weekend. On Saturday, they faced the Whitman Missionaries and scored late and ended with the victory 1-0. On Sunday, in Spokane, the Wildcats went head-to-head against the Whitworth Pirates with the unlucky loss 2-1.

In the 79th minute of the Whitman game, a late-goal by Annie Ferguson, ’19, lifted the Wildcats and gave them the victory. The goal was made off a penalty kick after Shelby DeRocher, ’18, went down. This was Ferguson’s first collegiate goal of her career.

Linfield was heavily outshot in the first half with only two shots to Whitman’s 8. Ultimately, Linfield outshot Whitman 12 to 10. Goalkeeper Sarah Bailey, ’19, had five saves on the day. Linfield had three corner kicks to Whitman who had none.

Bailey commented, “The game started slow and we didn’t seem to have much energy to start the game.”

When asked what the team did really well, “Today, I think we did a good job at taking what the coaches and players said during halftime about the first half and following through with it. We didn’t do well in the first half, but we did play much better the second half,” Bailey said.

When asked to discuss traveling and its impact on the team, “Traveling long distances is always tough and I think that we just felt tired and like our legs were heavy, that’s why we were slow to start the first half,” Bailey said.

On the second day facing the Whitworth Pirates, Linfield got the early advantage 1-0 by Jamie Neimann, ’18, her first collegiate goal of her career. Neimann beat her opponent to the ball off a corner kick and cemented the goal. The lead faltered in the second half when the Pirates scored two goals.

On the game, “We played really well the first half against them, it was very high energy. Jamie’s [Neimann] goal allowed us to be more calm on the ball at the end of the first half. In the second half, we just got purely out-worked by the other team [Whitworth]” DeRocher said.

When asked what was difficult, “Their formation they played, we had to change ours a little to match theirs and they subbed quite a bit, so they constantly had fresh legs” DeRocher continued.

When asked about the grueling road trip, “Traveling eight hours is hard, because it shows that you are tired and it showed in our game today. The shorter trips are usually easier, since it’s just a quick drive. Traveling is positive in the way that we grow closer as a team and it showed how much we need to work in order to win on the road” DeRocher said.

When asked to discuss what went well, “We connected the ball a lot and played well under their pressure” DeRocher said.

Linfield was again heavily outshot by the opponent. All of Linfield’s shots came in the first period and Whitworth ended the game with 24 shots. Goalkeeper Bailey had nine saves on the day.

The Wildcats are 3-3-2 at the halfway point of Northwest Conference play and sit in fifth place. Next up, the Wildcats travel to Salem to face the Willamette Bearcats on Saturday and then Portland against the Lewis and Clark Pioneers. Both kickoff times are set for noon.