Yoshimura's Match-Winner Pushes Bucs Past Saints

Yoshimura's Match-Winner Pushes Bucs Past Saints

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant 

WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Coby Yoshimura took in a long pass from Amanda Gerard and fired a laser into the back of the net to give the Whitworth Pirates a 2-1 extra time victory over the Carroll College Saints on Sunday afternoon. 

Yoshimura's goal gave the Pirates (2-1-1) their second overtime win of the season, and moved Whitworth to 2-0-1 in overtime. Both Whitworth and Carroll (1-5) went into overtime in their matches on Saturday with Whitworth tying the College of Idaho and Carroll defeating Whitman. 

"Our group is growing each and every game and that is a trend we will continue as conference play kicks off next week," Whitworth head coach Bryan Olson said. "We are resilient and are willing to work for one another and I look forward to seeing all that these women are capable of." 

The Pirates were on the offensive for most of the match, taking five shots in the first 20 minutes, including one from Arielle Van Peursem that required a diving stop from Saint goalkeeper Devon Murfitt. Whitworth maintained possession for much of the early part of the match as well, and didn't allow the Saints to take a shot until the 23rd minute. 

Van Peursem and the Whitworth offense broke through in the 84th minute. Yoshimura launched a long pass down the field and Van Peursem outran three defenders to the ball before lighting up the scoreboard with the first goal of the match.

Carroll responded three minutes later when Lizzie Sheldon slotted a shot into the bottom-left corner of the net. Mackenzie Payne assisted Sheldon on the goal, setting up the equalizer with a pass to the middle of the penalty area. 

The Saints nearly put the match away in the 90th minute, but Isabelle Arends saved Talya Vaira's header to send the two teams into overtime. 

The Saints and Bucs traded shots early in overtime before Yoshimura ended the match in the 99th minute. The senior grabbed a pass from Gerard that cleared the defense and made her opportunity count, burying her first goal of the season. 

Whitworth finished the match with advantages in shots (17-11) and shots on goal (11-6). Arends and Molly Webster combined for 5 saves, while Murfitt finished with 11. 

The victory gives the Pirates momentum heading into the Northwest Conference season. Whitworth opens NWC play on Saturday, Sept. 15 with a match at Pacific Lutheran. The Lutes are the reigning conference champions and split their matches with the Bucs last season.