Whits lead early, then fall to Linfield, 2-1 in double-OT

Monday, Oct 8, 2012

MCMINNVILLE, Ore. — Jaclyn Rudd’s goal less than two minutes into Sunday’s Northwest Conference women’s soccer match here staked visiting Whitman College to a quick 1-0 lead over host Linfield.

But that was all she wrote for the Missionaries on offense.

Linfield battled back to knot the score later in the first half. Then the conference rivals fought through a scoreless second half and the first 10-minute overtime before the Wildcats’ Anna Sours delivered a game-winning goal four minutes and 23 seconds into the second OT session.

“We knew that scoring that early there was a lot more game to play,” said Whitman coach Heather Cato. “And we worked hard the entire game. We just came up short in the end.”

The 2-1 setback was the only outing of the weekend for Whitman, and the defeat dropped the Missionaries’ record to 2-5-1 in NWC play and 3-8-1 overall.

It was also Whitman’s second double-overtime game in a row. Whitman battled Pacific Lutheran University to a scoreless tie seven days earlier in Walla Walla.

Linfield improved to 5-1-2 in league matches and is close behind University of Puget Sound and Whitworth at the top of the NWC standings. The Loggers and the Pirates are deadlocked for first place with identical 6-1-1 marks following Sunday’s play in which UPS edged Pacific 1-0 in overtime.

Whitworth was idle Sunday after losing at Linfield Saturday, a 2-1 overtime defeat that cost the Pirates sole possession of first place in the standings.

In other NWC women’s games Sunday, Lewis & Clark swamped George Fox 6-1 and PLU eked out a 3-2 victory over Willamette in another double-overtime affair.

Rudd, a senior middle from Seattle, scored her goal unassisted just 1:29 into Sunday’s match off a direct free kick over several Linfield defenders.

“Jaclyn had another great goal for us off of a free kick,” Cato said. “She has been doing that consistently for us the entire season.”

Linfield’s offense dominated the match thereafter, however, and kept the pressure on Whitman goalkeeper Emily Davis, a junior from Eagle River, Ark., who was credited with seven saves in the game. Linfield goalie Taylor Collinsworth wasn’t required to make a single stop after yielding the early Whitman goal.

Linfield outshot the Missionaries 26-3 and held a 16-1 advantage in corner kicks.

“Emily played an amazing game,” Cato said of her goalkeeper. “She came up with several saves that kept us in the game and left the score tied.”

The Wildcats’ Emily Fellows, with an assist from Lauren Pyrch, tied the game at 30:40 as she headed home a goal off a direct free kick.

With 5:37 remaining in the second overtime, Sours took a pass from Rachael Gernhart and drilled the game-wining goal into the right corner of the Whitman net.

The Missionaries face two more road games this coming weekend when they travel to Tacoma to take on Pacific Lutheran and Puget Sound. They meet the Lutes (2-1-5, 4-1-5) on Saturday and the Loggers (6-1-1, 7-3-1) on Sunday.

Whitworth, Whitman’s travel partner, also makes the trip to Tacoma and faces UPS Saturday in a showdown for first place in the conference standings before taking on PLU on Sunday.