WALLA WALLA, Wash. -- The Northwest Conference soccer season begins in earnest this weekend as the Missionary men and women host a series of four games at the Whitman Athletic Fields.

The George Fox Bruins, who provide the opposition on Saturday, will be followed into town on Sunday by the Pacific Boxers. The women's games start both days at noon with the men's games to follow at about 2:30 p.m.

Women's Games

The Whitman women, 1-2-1 to start the fall campaign, stubbed their collective toe on Wednesday with a tough 2-1 home-field loss to Whitworth in what was the NWC opener for both schools.

           Corina Gabbert

The Missionaries took an early 1-0 lead when assists from Corina Gabbert and Amy Hasson led to a Kristin Innes goal. The visitors escaped with a victory when a shot attempt bounced off a Whitman defender and into the net with less than 15 minutes left to play.

Innes has a pair of early-season goals and one assist, while Gabbert has one goal and three assists. Liz Forbes and Kendall Shibuya also have early goals for the Missionaries.

George Fox, 3-2 overall, lost its NWC opener on Wednesday, falling 2-1 to Pacific. 

George Fox, which clubbed Northwest Christian 8-1 in its first non-conference game, has outscored its first five opponents by a combined 15-8 count. Kirsten Cardwell has six goals for the Bruins while Jenny McKinsey has four goals and three assists. Esther Harder has two goals and four assists.

Last fall, Whitman edged George Fox 1-0 in each end of the home-and-away series. Innes and Hasson struck the game-winning goals and goalkeeper Courtney Porter posted both shutouts.

The Whitman women are 5-2-1 against George Fox over the past four seasons. Going back eight seasons, the Missionaries are 13-2-1 against the Bruins.

For Pacific, which plays Saturday at Whitworth, Kaitlyn Harper has a pair of goals to lead the early Pacific offense. Beth Harper, one of four Boxers with a single goal, had the game winner earlier this week against George Fox.

Porter made 18 saves in shutting out Pacific twice last fall. Gabbert bounced in a pair of goals, assisted in each case by Kate Newman, in a 2-0 victory on the Missionary pitch. The two teams battled to a 0-0 double-overtime tie at Pacific.

Whitman has held the upper hand over Pacific in recent times, rolling to a 6-1-1 record in the four previous seasons.

Men's Games

The Whitman men take a 1-1-1 record into its NWC opener against George Fox on Saturday. Todd Wallenius has two goals to lead the Missionaries. Chris Reid had the game-winning goal (and an earlier assist) in Whitman's 2-1 overtime victory at Colorado College.

           Jasper Lipton

Conner Bottomly has scored one early goal for the Missionaries, and Brian Percival and Leland Matthaeus have one assist apiece. Freshman keeper Devin Kuh made seven saves in the Colorado win.

Sean Daughtry has four goals and two assists for the Bruins, who walloped Walla Walla University 10-0 last Sunday. Fidel Izquierdo had a hat trick in that rout and has four goals on the season. Zach Sanders has three goals and three assists, and Kyle Story has a goal and five assists.

George Fox keepers Elliott Davis and Jake Maguire collected shutouts in the wins over Walla Walla and Northwest Christian.

Whitman downed George Fox 3-1 and 1-0 last season and have dominated the Bruins in recent years. The Missionaries have seven wins and an overtime tie in their last eight meetings between the two teams.

The Pacific men, who play Saturday at Whitworth, are off to a blazing start with a 4-1 record. The Boxers outscored Northwest Christian, Walla Walla and La Verne by a combined score of 15-0; they also have a 1-0 triumph over Warner Pacific.

Jasem Jaihouni has six goals and two assists for Pacific. Four other Boxers have two goals each. Goalkeeper Andrew Stevermer is 3-1 in the four games he has started.

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CONTACT: Dave Holden
Sports Information Director
Whitman College, Walla Walla, Wash.
509 527-5902; holden@whitman.edu