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WHITWORTH 1, GEORGE FOX 0: Overtime Goal Lifts NWC-Leading Pirates Past Bruins
NEWBERG, Ore. – A looping shot from 20 yards away by Mackenzie Grow just snuck under the crossbar late in the first overtime, lifting Whitworth University past the George Fox University Bruins 1-0 and keeping the Pirates atop the Northwest Conference women’s soccer standings Saturday afternoon here at the Austin Sports Complex.
With the win, Whitworth evened its overall record at 4-4 and moved to 4-0 in the conference. George Fox slipped to 1-5-2 overall and 0-4 in the NWC.
Whitworth controlled the first half, taking 11 shots to three for George Fox. The Pirates nearly scored in the 15th minute when Kristin Wucherer’s shot toward the right post was deflected by Bruin keeper Alyssa Montero just enough to send it off the post and rebounding back onto the pitch. The visitors had another chance in the 40th minutes as Tiara Pajimola nailed a shot that hit the crossbar. In between those two shots, Montero turned away four other Whitworth shots.
The situation evened up in the second half, with George Fox taking nine shots to seven for Whitworth. The Bruins’ Melanie Gaither came the closest to scoring in the 79th minute when she drove into the keeper’s box from the right and hooked a left-footed shot toward the near post, but Whitworth goalie Ashley Rothrock knocked it outside the post. Ashley Baugh had a shot at winning it for the Bruins when she got free after a through ball from Gaither and took Rothrock one-on-one with 40 seconds left, but her attempt to pop one over the keeper also went over the bar.
A second overtime appeared likely before the Pirates finally notched the game-winning “golden goal” with 1:25 left in extra stanza. Pajimola drove toward the upper left corner of the box and crossed to the middle for Grow, who lofted a soft shot that slipped into the net between the bar the outstretched hand of a back-pedaling Montero for her first goal of the season.
Whitworth finished with a 20-12 advantage in shots, 8-6 in shots on goal, and 5-3 in corner kicks. Rothrock made six saves in recording the shutout for the Pirates, while Montero stopped seven for the Bruins.
NEXT: George Fox hosts Whitman College while Whitworth goes to Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., Sunday, both games starting at 2:30 p.m. Each game will be preceded by NWC women’s matches at 12:00 noon against the same schools.