Willamette Scores on Set Play, Defeats Linfield, 1-0

SALEM, ORE. Willamette University and Linfield College allowed few quality scoring changes during their Northwest Conference women's soccer battle on Sunday, Oct. 1 at Sparks Field, but the Bearcats scored on a set play with less than seven minutes remaining in the first half to defeat the Wildcats, 1-0. Willamette remained undefeated, improving to 9-0-1 overall and 6-0-0 in the NWC. Linfield dropped to 3-5-2 on the season, 1-3-2 in the NWC.

The game's only goal was scored at 38:27 by Samantha Post (So., D, Philomath, OR/Philomath HS) on a 6-yard header following a short corner kick. Assists went to Meghan Anderson (Fr., F, Eugene, OR/South Eugene HS), who took the corner kick, and to Jessica Lammers (Sr., MF, Concord, CA/Northgate HS), who sent a crossing pass to Post from the left side of the field. Post took her shot from the right side of the goalie box and placed the ball into the back corner of the left side netting. It was the first goal of the season for Post.

The Bearcats, ranked #6 in the NCAA Division III National Rankings conducted by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA), have allowed just two goals this season. Willamette has achieved eight shutouts, including seven solo shutouts for goalkeeper Kari Woody (Sr., Boise, ID/Timberline HS), who registered five saves to record the shutout against Linfield.

Woody made several key saves against the Wildcats. Perhaps the most difficult stop came on a shot by Rachel Miles at 22:07. The shot was a line drive from about 20 yards out that would have gone under the crossbar and into the net. Woody deflected the shot off the crossbar and out of play. She also made a couple of strong saves on low shots from the right side of the field.

Willamette has won six consecutive games since tying the University of California-Santa Cruz, 0-0 in two overtimes, on Sept. 13. UC-Santa Cruz is currently ranked #12 in NCAA Division III. The last goal scored against the Bearcats was early in Willamette's 3-1 win at Whitworth College on Sept. 17. Since then, the Bearcats have recorded four consecutive shutouts, while extending their shutout streak to 447:16.

Two individual Willamette streaks also remained intact against Linfield. Anderson registered a goal or an assist for the sixth consecutive game.
Lammers provided a goal or an assist for the fourth game in a row.

Linfield pushed forward significant numbers on its attack throughout much of the game, leaving three defenders at the back to play an offside trap. Even so, Willamette was unable to create many scoring chances by getting past Linfield's flat defensive alignment. The Wildcats achieved a 14-9 edge in total shots and a 5-4 advantage in shots on goal.

The Bearcats do not play again until next Saturday (Oct. 7), when they are scheduled to host Pacific University in a Northwest Conference game at 12 p.m. (PDT). Willamette will also play on Sunday, Oct. 8, at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., in another NWC game. Kickoff at PLU is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).