by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – After splitting matches with Linfield and Willamette on the road, the Whitworth Pirates return home this weekend to close out the first half of the NWC season against George Fox and Lewis & Clark.
The Pirates open the weekend against the Bruins on Saturday, Oct. 6 before taking on the Pioneers the following day. Both matches kick off at noon.
Video and live statistics links will be available on the Whitworth women's soccer schedule.
The Pirates: Whitworth (6-2-2, 4-1-1 NWC) split its matches last weekend against Linfield and Willamette. The Pirates struggled to get their offense going against the conference-leading Bearcats, only managing two shots on goal. Molly Webster saved eight shots for the Bucs, but completely hold off the Willamette attack in a 2-0 loss.
The Pirates bounced back the following day with a 2-1 win over Linfield. Coby Yoshimura was all the offense Whitworth needed to win, scoring both goals in the first 20 minutes. Webster held off a late Wildcat attack, making eight more saves to earn the win.
Magnificent Molly: In her first year as a Pirate, Molly Webster established herself as one of the best goalkeepers in the NWC. The senior finished last year tied for second in the conference in total goals against (11), and fourth in goals against average (.95). This season, Webster has been just as good, ranking second in the conference with 36 saves.
Working Overtime: The Pirates put in plenty of extra work early in their season. Four of Whitworth's first six matches needed overtime, and the Bucs went 2-0-2 in those contests.
Home Sweet Home: During third-year head coach Bryan Olson's tenure at Whitworth, the Pirates are 17-2-1 playing on the Whitworth Soccer Fsield. After Whitman and Pacific (Ore.) in their home-opening weekend, the Bucs are 2-0 at home in 2018 after a combined record of 15-2-1 the two years prior. The Pirates return to the Whitworth Soccer Field on Saturday, Oct. 6 to take on George Fox.
The Bruins: After starting its season 3-0-1, George Fox (3-4-1, 1-4-1 NWC) has dropped four straight matches entering the weekend. The Bruins didn't allow a goal in their first six matches, but opponents in the last four have outscored George Fox 6-1. Annalisa Klein was outstanding in the early season for the Bruins and remains one of the top goalkeepers in the NWC. The sophomore is fourth in the NWC in goals against average (0.79) and save percentage (.846). Savannah Moisan leads George Fox in scoring with three goals. Whitworth shut out George Fox twice in 2017, winning 1-0 on the road and 2-0 on the Whitworth Soccer Field
The Pioneers: Lewis & Clark (3-6-1, 1-5 NWC) picked up its first Northwest Conference win of the year last week, a 1-0 victory over George Fox. The goal against the Bruins was the first of conference play for the Pios, who scored seven times in non-conference play. Ella Viesturs leads the Lewis & Clark attack with three goals and two assists, followed closely by Anna Saucedo whose stat line is just a goal shot of Viesturs'. Megan Sawyer is the Pioneer goalkeeper. The sophomore sports a 1.08 GAA with an .800 save percentage. Whitworth swept Lewis & Clark last season. The Bucs blew out the Pios 5-1 in Portland and won 3-0 in Spokane.
Looking Ahead: The Pirates are back on the Whitworth Soccer Field on Saturday, Oct. 13 when they take on Pacific Lutheran. Whitworth battles Puget Sound the following day, also at home.
The Coach: Bryan Olson was named the head coach for the Pirate women's soccer team in February of 2016 and enters his third year leading the Bucs in the fall of 2018. In his two seasons at the helm, Whitworth has a 22-16-2 overall record and a 20-10-2 mark in the Northwest Conference.
Olson was the top assistant coach for the Whitworth men's soccer team for six seasons prior to leading the women's team. His title was elevated to Associate Head Coach ahead of the 2015 season. Over that time the Pirate men's team posted a record of 66-17-12 and made the NCAA Division III Tournament three times (2012, 2014 and 2015).