NEWBERG, Ore. – Clara Merlino scored from 18 yards out 32 seconds into the first overtime as the Whitman College Missionaries handed the George Fox University Bruins their second straight heart-breaking overtime loss 2-1 in Northwest Conference women’s soccer action Sunday afternoon here at the Austin Sports Complex.
After a scoreless first half, the Bruins drew first blood when Michelle Young rifled an indirect free kick from 20 yards out near the left corner of the keeper’s box inside the near post two-and-a-half minutes into the second period. It was Young’s second score of the season.
The Missionaries got the equalizer 19 minutes later at the 66:13 mark. Jaclyn Rudd triggered the scoring play with an arching corner kick from the left into the middle of the box. Taylor Thomas and Justine Kovak each got one-touches on the ball before Marissa Poorboy finished the play with a shot to the upper left corner, her first goal of the season.
Through the rest of regulation, Whitman goalie Emily Davis made three saves and George Fox’s Ally Swanson made two, resulting in the Bruins’ second straight overtime (they had dropped a 1-0 decision to NWC leader Whitworth University the day before) and fifth of the year. The extra period did not last long, however, as Brianna Brown passed up the middle on Whitman’s first possession to Merlino, who split two Bruin defenders at the top of the box and sent the winning shot inside the left post for her second goal of the season.
Whitman finished with a 17-10 advantage in total shots, 10-6 in shots on goal, and 5-3 in corner kick opportunities. Davis earned the win with five saves, while Swanson suffered the hard-luck loss but made eight saves.
NEXT: George Fox (1-6-2, NWC 0-5) is off until next Sunday, when the Bruins will host Willamette University at 12:00 noon ... Whitman (3-6, NWC 2-3) hosts the University of Puget Sound Saturday, also at 12:00 noon.