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PUGET SOUND 2, GEORGE FOX 1: Loggers Keep Pace Atop NWC by Defeating Bruins
NEWBERG, Ore. – Maintaining a share of first place in the Northwest Conference women’s soccer race, the visiting University of Puget Sound Loggers scored two quick goals in the first half and hung on to edge the George Fox University Bruins 2-1 on a cool, damp Sunday afternoon here at the Austin Sports Complex.
Puget Sound improved to 12-3-2 overall and 10-2-2 in the conference, tied for the top with Linfield College, which won 2-1 at Whitman College Sunday. George Fox fell to 2-11-5 overall and 2-9-3 in league play. There are two games left in the regular season for all teams in the conference.
The Loggers held the Bruins without a shot in the first half and capitalized on two of their own nine shot attempts in the period. Jenny Moore was fouled as she dribbled into the box at the 18:02 mark and drilled the ensuing penalty kick into the lower right corner for her third goal of the season and a 1-0 UPS lead. The shot narrowly avoided a diving Bruin goalie Alyssa Montero, who got a hand on the ball but could not stop its momentum.
Just under two minutes later, the Loggers added a second goal that would pay off big when Christine Isabella, dribbling in from the right side, threaded a pass ahead to Mikaela Freeman near the right line of the box. Freeman settled the ball and angled her sixth goal of the season into the far corner from 12 yards out, giving the visitors a 2-0 lead at the half.
George Fox finally got some offensive opportunities in the second half as each team managed five shots in the final 45 minutes. The Bruins were able to stymie all of the Loggers’ tries and cut the UPS lead in half with a score of their own. Cassady Gardner’s header attempt in the 79th minute was blocked, but Esther Harder secured the rebound and sent it home at the 79:24 mark for her first goal of the season.
The Bruins could not get another shot off to try for a tie in the final 10 minutes, however. UPS missed two opportunities to put the game out of reach in the final five minutes, one shot by Abby Goss glancing high off the crossbar and one by Hannah Hawkins being stopped by Montero.
In addition to a 14-5 advantage in total shots (7-3 in shots on goal), the Loggers had six corner kick chances to one for the Bruins. Montero made five saves in all for George Fox, while UPS keeper Kara Merfeld stopped two Bruin shots.
NEXT: George Fox plays its final road game of the season Wednesday at Lewis & Clark College, kicking off at 7:00 p.m. ... Puget Sound hosts Lewis & Clark Friday at 12:00 noon.