Van Peursem Leads Bucs Past Bearcats

Van Peursem Leads Bucs Past Bearcats

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant 

SPOKANE, Wash. – The Whitworth Pirates got a goal and an assist from Arielle Van Peursem as they raced by the Willamette Bearcats in a 2-0 win. 

The victory was the third straight for the Pirates (10-4-3, 8-3-2 NWC), while the Bearcats (11-3-3, 7-3-3 NWC) suffered their third consecutive loss. Willamette defeated Whitworth 2-0 when the two teams played in Oregon earlier in the season. 

"We are thankful for a beautiful day to play here at home and it was great to see our group step into the second half in such a positive manner against a very quality side in Willamette," Whitworth head coach Bryan Olson said. 

The two teams traded scoring opportunities in the first half, but both goalkeepers were able to stand strong and keep the ball out of the net. Molly Webster finished the first 45 minutes with six saves, including two highlight-reel punches. 

The first of Webster's incredible saves came on Janae Arnold's 29th minute shot, which came in high and fast before Webster shot the ball over the bar. Then, Shanna Keil had a wide open header. 

Though the Pirates shots on goal didn't require any diving stops, Kristin Barclay played a solid first half in goal for the Bearcats. Barclay's three saves ensured the two teams would head into halftime with no score. 

Van Peursem broke the deadlock in the 61st minute. Gabriella Coprivnicar lifted a cross into the box, which Brixiada Mendoza headed to Van Peursem near the penalty spot. The senior was wide open and blasted home her fourth goal of the year. 

After scoring the first goal of the day, Van Peursem assisted on the second. After getting the ball in the middle of the penalty area, Van Peursem deferred a pass to Coby Yoshimura on the right side of the box. Yoshimura sealed the win by floating a a shot over Barclay and into the back of the net. 

Whitworth will look to stretch its win streak out to four games Sunday afternoon when they take on Linfield. The Bucs and Wildcats kick off at 12:00 p.m. with a senior day ceremony directly following the match.

"Tomorrow we have the opportunity to celebrate our nine seniors who have each influenced this program in tremendous ways. They truly are an outstanding group of people and we look forward to celebrating along with them in their final home match," Olson said.