By Robert McKinney, Assistant Athletics Director, Communications
TACOMA, Wash. -- Willamette University took Pacific Lutheran University closer to a tie or loss than any other team in the Northwest Conference this season, but the Lutes scored 5:41 into the second overtime to defeat the Bearcats, 1-0, on Sunday, Nov. 3 at East Field. PLU advanced its record to 16-1-1 on the season, while remaining undefeated and untied in the NWC at 14-0-0. Willamette, which has now played in nine overtime games (5-2-2 record) in the NWC this year, fell to 9-7-2 overall, 8-4-2 in the conference.
The game's only goal was scored by Ellie Johnson of Pacific Lutheran on a follow shot at 105:41. The play began with a cross from Leah Magee to Kari Mills. After Mills received the pass, she took a shot, but Willamette goalie Kristen Barclay (Sr., GK, Kenmore, WA/Cedar Park Christian School) earned a save. The ball rebounded to Johnson, whose follow shot went into the net. Mills earned an assist.
Prior to Sunday's game, the Lutes had played in two NWC games that went into overtime, but Pacific Lutheran won both games in the first overtime period. On Oct. 19, the Lutes downed Whitworth University, 1-0, on a goal at 94:13. On Nov. 2, PLU edged past George Fox University, 1-0, on a goal at 99:30, just 30 seconds away from a second overtime.
"I'm so proud of our team! We played very well today. It was our best game yet against the top team in the conference, keeping them scoreless and taking them into double overtime. We pressed PLU and made them uncomfortable, while maintaining our shape and composure. We created excellent opportunities in front of the goal and our defensive effort was outstanding. The loss hurts, but I'm so proud of each and every one of our players."
— Willamette Head Coach Hillary Arthur
Until Johnson's winning shot on Sunday, neither team had been able to create a goal. Barclay was a key reason, as she finished the game with six saves for the Bearcats. Cassidy Crosswhite earned one save for the Loggers, and one PLU defender cleared a Willamette shot away from the goal line.
Barclay registered three saves in the first half on a total of six shots by the Lutes. Willamette achieved just one shot in the first half, but the attempt by Caroline Adams (Jr., M/F, Snohomish, WA/Archbishop Murphy HS) forced Crosswhite to make a save. In the second half, PLU outshot the Bearcats 10-2, but only two shots were on target.
Although the Lutes held a 16-3 edge in total shots at the end of regulation, it was Willamette that gained a 4-1 margin in shots during the first overtime. Three of the shots were not on target, but a header by Gena Main (Sr., F, San Francisco, CA/Gateway HS/Bryn Mawr College) was cleared by a defender before it went into the goal. A shot by Jackie Gilroy (Fy., F/M, Mercer Island, WA/Mercer Island HS) of WU with just two seconds left in the overtime session went wide of the net.
For the game, Pacific Lutheran outshot Willamette 19-7, including 7-2 in shots on goal. The Lutes also claimed a 6-3 advantage in shots on goal.
The Bearcats will close out the season with a pair of home games at Sparks Field on Saturday, Nov. 9 and Sunday, Nov. 10. On Saturday, the Bearcats will take on Whitworth University at 12 p.m. (PST). Willamette is scheduled to host Whitman College on Sunday, also at 12 p.m.