by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Whitworth women's lacrosse scored four consecutive goals late in the second half, but its comeback fell short in a 13-9 loss to Willamette.
The Pirates (0-8, 0-5 NWC) cut the Bearcats' (4-5, 2-3 NWC) seven-goal lead to three with 8:19 remaining, but Willamette held Whitworth scoreless the rest of the way to earn the win.
Trinity Frank led the Bucs with three goals and six groundballs. Miranda Piros and Anabel Ohsman countered by putting five shots in the back of the net for Willamette.
The Bearcats led the game wire-to-wire after jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first five minutes. Frank halted the run by scoring her first of two free-position goals. After Piros countered with goal of her own, the Pirates scored twice more from free-positions. Frank netted the first goal and Liah Gingerich followed with her first score of the day.
Willamette responded to Whitworth's spurt by scoring three-straight goals, including two from Oshman, to take a four-score lead. Frank steadied the Bucs with a goal in transition and then Gingerich added another to send the Bucs into halftime down 8-5.
Piros was a one-woman scoring barrage coming out of halftime, netting three of the Bearcats' four goals out of the break. Willamette led 12-5 after Piros' fourth goal of the game with 16:52 remaining.
Whitworth refused to go away. The Bucs halted the run with an excellent transition play instigated by Grace Schmidt. Schmidt picked up a turnover and raced past the halfway point on the field before finding Jordan Cain in space. Cain made a move and raced towards the goal, where she found Kianna Fiorito. For her part, Fiorito fired a shot to the top shelf of the net to give the Pirates their first goal of the half.
The Bucs followed Fiorito's goal with strikes from Lauren Taylor, Hannah Meador, and another from Fiorito, cutting the lead to three. Willamette cut off the Whitworth comeback with Piros' final goal of the game, a free-position strike with 6:58 remaining.
The Pirates set season-highs in both free-position goals (4) and groundballs (28). In goal, Laura Wells tied a career and program-high with eight saves while also grabbing five groundballs. Kara Phillips saved nine shots for the Bearcats.
The Pirates return to action on Sunday, April 7 when they take on defending Northwest Conference champion George Fox at 1 p.m.