Willamette Shuts Out Linfield, 2-0, on Goals by Butler and Gross

McMINNVILLE, ORE. Willamette University scored once in each half and kept Linfield College off the scoreboard for the second time in as many meetings this year, as the Bearcats defeated the Wildcats, 2-0, in a Northwest Conference game on Saturday, Oct. 28. Willamette, #19 in the NCAA Division III National Rankings, upped its overall record to 14-2-2. Linfield fell to 5-11-2 on the season. WU also defeated the Wildcats, 1-0, on Oct. 1 in Salem, Ore.

The Bearcats remained in first place in the NWC with an 11-2-1 record and 34 points (3 for each win, 1 for each tie). Willamette is two points in front of the University of Puget Sound (10-1-2, 32 points). UPS has played one fewer game, so if both teams win out (WU has two games remaining and UPS has three), the Loggers will win the NWC title by a single point. Both teams appear headed toward NCAA Tournament play. Linfield fell to 3-9-2 in the NWC (11 points, 6th place tie).

The game's first goal was scored at the 8:54 mark, at the end of a counter-attack that started at Willamette's defensive end. The ball was sent into the midfield, where Meghan Anderson (Fr., F, Eugene, OR/South Eugene HS)took control and dribbled about 10 yards past the midfield stripe near the right sideline.

Anderson pass the ball to Emily Gross (So., F, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) who was about 30 yards out from goal and a bit closer to the center of the field. After receiving the pass, Gross sent the ball to Susan Butler (Sr., MF, Boise, ID/Boise HS). Butler made a spin move on her defender inside the penalty box and shot from 10 yards to the center of the goal as the goalie charged out.

The second goal was scored by Gross, who set up the play herself by stealing the ball about 45 yards out with about 26 minutes remaining in the game. Linfield was playing a flat defensive formation,so no one was back to help defend when Gross stole the ball. Gross headed downfield, then shot from about 25 yards into the upper left corner of the goal at 64:05.

Linfield had one good chance to tie before Gross provided the Bearcats with an insurance goal. With WU up just 1-0, a lose ball near several players rolled toward the Willamette goal line just 20 seconds into the second half, but Jessica Lammers (Sr., MF, Concord, CA/Northgate HS) cleared the ball off the goal line.

Gross had a chance to score before she recorded Willamette's second goal. She took a shot at the 57:50 mark that went toward the crossbar and was pushed over by Linfield goalie Allison Cartmill, who was credited with three saves during the game.

WU was outshot 15-10 overall and 8-5 in shots on goal, but the Bearcats had the more dangerous shots overall. Eight of the 10 shots were quality scoring chances.

Linfield earned seven corner kicks. The Wildcats held Willamette without a corner kick.

Willamette goalkeeper Kari Woody (Sr., GK, Boise, ID/Timberline HS) registered eight saves, as she earned her ninth solo shutout of the season. She also has recorded two shared shutouts and has contributed to all 11 shutouts by the Bearcats this year.