By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- Emma Blackburn (So., F, Los Altos, CA/Saint Francis HS) of Willamette University scored the game's only goal at 93:30 in overtime, as the Bearcats defeated Whitman College, 1-0, on Sunday, Oct. 13 to earn their fourth overtime win against Northwest Conference opponents. All four overtime wins have been achieved in the last seven games, a span in which the Bearcats have gone 4-0-1 in overtime.
Willamette is now 7-4-1 on the season and 6-1-1 (2nd place tie) in the NWC. Whitman ended the game at 1-10-0, including 1-7-0 in the NWC.
Blackburn took two shots in overtime. Her first shot followed a corner kick, when the ball deflected to her just two yards from the net at 92:23, but a defender stopped the attempt. Blackburn's game-winner occurred about one minute later. Rachael Moulton (Sr., D, Seattle, WA/Shorecrest HS) began the play with a free kick from 32 yards. The ball bounced once in the box and then reached Blackburn, who headed the ball in at the right post.
Two of WU's overtime wins have been in this weekend. The Bearcats edged Whitworth University, 1-0 in overtime, on Saturday. All four triumphs in overtime this season have been decided in the first overtime period. Willamette tied University of Puget Sound, 0-0, in the Bearcats' only two-overtime game on Sept. 29.
On Sunday, Whitman outshot Willamette 14-8 overall and 8-5 in shots in goal. WU goalie Kristen Barclay (Sr./Jr., GK, Kenmore, WA/Cedar Park Christian School) was credited with eigth saves, including one in overtime. Goalkeeper Allie Seracuse of Whitman made two saves and defenders for the Blues blocked two shots near the goal line.
"To come off the road trip to Whitworth and Whitman with two wins is a big accomplishment, especially in two overtimes. Kristen had another great performance in goal again today, and played every minute of both games. We had great contributions from many of our players this weekend. Congratulations to Emma for the game-winner today and to Rachael for a killer free kick into the box."
— Willamette Head Coach Hillary Arthur
Both teams limited the number of quality chances with solid defensive work. Even so, a poorly-timed back pass to Seracuse in the last minute of the first half was nearly intercepted by Blackburn. Seracuse and Blackburn reached the ball at about the same at the top left corner of the penalty area, but Blackburn was able to immediately deflect a kick by Seracuse. The ball went behind Seracuse and headed toward the goal line, where it passed just outside the left post with 35 seconds left in the half.
Willamette had several other great chances, as the Bearcats hit the crossbar three times. Meanwhile, Whitman had two break-away opportunities stopped by Barclay.
The Bearcats were denied by Seracuse 7:43 into the game when Aoi Sawanobori (So., M, Kofu, Japan/TIUA) took a shot from the left side and Seracuse kept the ball out of the upper left corner. Later, the Blues had a great chance to score when Pagan Hetherington sent the ball past the defense, regained control, and blasted a shot that Barclay saved at 20:49.
Two chances for the Bearcats were created near the 62-minute mark. The first shot was by Fionn Fortune (Sr., M/F, Alexandria, VA/St. Stephen's & St. Agnes/Hamilton Coll.), whose effort from 16-yards on the right side was deflected by a defender at the right post. The ball hit the crossbar and went out of bounds. After the ensuing corner, the ball was partially cleared by the Blues. Shanna Keil (Sr., F, Danville, CA/San Ramon Valley HS) intercepted the ball at the top of the penalty box and took a shot that hit the crossbar near the left post.
Whitman had the first shot in overtime on an attempt by Sophie Brussell near the left post at 90:30. Brussell redirected the ball toward the right post, but Barclay dove to her left and grabbed the low shot.
The Bearcats will return to action on Saturday, Oct. 19 with a game against archrival Linfield College. Game time in McMinnville, Oregon, is slated for 12 p.m. (PDT).