Willamette Shuts Out Puget Sound, 3-0, in Battle of Nationally-Ranked Teams

SALEM, ORE. Senior midfielder Susan Butler (Boise, ID/Boise HS) scored a goal and earned an assist, leading the Willamette University Bearcats to a 3-0 victory over the University of Puget Sound, in a battle of nationally-ranked Northwest Conference opponents, Sunday, Sept. 24, at Sparks Field. Willamette, ranked #18 in the NCAA Division III Poll conducted by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), remained undefeated at 7-0-1 overall, 4-0 in the NWC. Puget Sound, ranked #3 in Division III, fell to 5-1-1 on the season, 3-1 in the NWC.

Butler scored the game’s first goal at 28:51 on a shot from 12 yards. Butler’s shot completed a set play that began with a free kick taken by Jessica Lammers (Sr., MF, Concord, CA/Northgate HS). Lammers sent the ball from the right side of the field to Meghan Anderson (Fr., F, Eugene, OR/South Eugene HS) near the top left corner of the penalty area. Anderson redirected the ball to Butler, who shot past UPS goalkeeper Kallie Wolfer.

Butler is Willamette's top scorer with five goals and four assists for 14 points. She has played in seven games for the Bearcats this season and has scored a goal in five.

Willamette remained in front 1-0 at the half, with the Bearcats holding a 10-6 edge in total shots. At 53:46, Puget Sound had a chance to equalize when Katie Gillette was open for a pass about eight yards from the goal, but Gillette one-timed her shot high over the crossbar.

The Bearcats struck for a 2-0 lead at 55:00. Butler supplied Michelle Gregoire (Sr., MF, Olympia, WA/Olympia HS) with a short crossing pass to start the play. Gregoire shot from 22 yards in the center of the field. Her blast stayed low as it approached Wolfer, who was lined up with the shot. The ball glanced off and through Wolfer’s legs, before slowly moving over the goal line.

WU’s third goal was scored by Emily Gross (So., F, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) directly off a corner kick at 77:52. Her effort from the corner sailed over a group of players in the box and went into the top right corner of the net.

It was the only corner kick of the game for Gross. The Bearcats achieved a 6-1 edge in corner kicks overall, with the first five taken by Lammers.

Willamette ended the game with a 16-12 advantage in total shots and an 8-4 margin in shots on goal. The Bearcats’ goalie, Kari Woody (Sr., Boise, ID/Timberline HS) registered four saves in the shutout. She has recorded five solo shutouts and one shared shutout this season. Wolfer earned five saves for the Loggers.

The Bearcats have allowed a total of just two goals in eight games this season, while putting the ball into the opposing net 21 times. WU has won four consecutive games since a 0-0 tie with the University of California-Santa Cruz on Sept. 13. UC-Santa Cruz is ranked #14 in NCAA Division III. In this week’s West Region rankings, UPS is #1 and Willamette and UC-Santa Cruz are tied for #2.

Willamette’s win over UPS started a four-game homestand for the Bearcats. WU will be back at Sparks Field on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m. (PDT), to take on George Fox University in an NWC contest. The homestand concludes with games against Linfield College on Sept. 1 and Pacific University on Sept. 7, both at 12 p.m. (PDT).