By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
SALEM, Ore. -- George Fox University has won four consecutive Northwest Conference titles in women's lacrosse and was picked in the NWC Preseason Poll to win the championship for a fifth time this spring. The Bruins looked like four-time defending champions against Willamette University on Saturday, March 16, showing exceptional speed, accurate passing and high-quality attacking play, as GFU defeated the Bearcats, 20-1. It was Willamette's first NWC game in women's lacrosse.
The Bruins upped their record to 5-0 on the season, 3-0 in the NWC. Willamette fell to 1-2 overall, 0-1 in the NWC.
George Fox opened the game by winning a string of draw controls, which kept the Bruins in control of the ball during the early minutes. GFU scored nine goals in the opening seven minutes. The first two goals were scored by Grace Matteson just 28 seconds apart at 29:42 and 29:14. Jennifer Burke tallied three of the goals, while four other Bruins contributed one goal apiece.
On Willamette's fourth possession of the game, Miranda Piros (Fr., MID, Newberg, OR/Newberg HS) took a free position shot for the Bearcats at 23:16, but GFU goalkeeper Ella Rand made a save. Rand started the clear that led to Andrea Garcia-Milla scoring the ninth goal at 23:01.
Willamette broke the Bruins' run when Lexie Andrade (So., ATT, Petaluma, CA/Casa Grande HS) scored at 21:56. Andrade began the possession by winning a draw control. The Bearcats kept the ball for just over a minute before Andrade shot into the net. It was her fifth goal of the season.
The Bruins added six goals before halftime and owned a 15-1 lead at the break. George Fox finished the game with 38 total shots and 30 shots on goal. The Bruins won 16 of 23 draw controls, although each team won three draws in the second half.
Leading goal scorers for GFU were Burke and Lois Ray, who each scored four times. Meredith Teel and Madison Strickland both registered three goals. Rand finished with three saves.
Willamette earned five shots, including four shots on target. Andrade took three of the Bearcats' shots. WU goalkeeper Kara Phillips (Sr., Kirkland, WA/Lake Washington HS) made 10 saves, including nine stops in the first half. There were three times penalties during the game -- all against GFU -- but Willamette was unable to score with on the extra-man opportunities.
The Bearcats hope to bounce back quickly when they host University of Puget Sound in a Northwest Conference battle on Sunday (March 17). Game time is set for 1 p.m. (PDT).
Big Moment of the Game for Willamette
Lexie Andrade scored a goal for Willamette with 21:56 left
in the first half. It was her fifth goal of the season. Overall,
she took three shots with two shots on goal, and earned
two draw controls for the Bearcats.