Willamette and George Fox Battle to 0-0 Tie in Women's Soccer

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University goalkeeper Kelli Gano (Sr., Portland, OR/Cleveland HS) recorded 11 saves, leading the Bearcats to a 0-0 tie in two overtimes against George Fox University, in a Northwest Conference game at Sparks Field on Thursday, Oct. 11. Willamette ended the game with a 4-5-2 overall record, including 3-4-2 in the NWC. George Fox moved to 8-4-1 on the season, 5-3-1 in the NWC.

Both teams had at least a couple of quality chances to score. Willamette appeared to score just over midway into the first half, when GFU goalie Jessica Cardwell was unable to hold onto a loose ball and the Bearcats tapped the ball away from a crowd and into the net. However, WU was ruled offside on the play.

WU's other top scoring opportunity was in the second overtime at 100:39, when Lauren Miller (Jr., F, Portland, OR/Grant HS/Northwestern State, La.) received a lengthy free kick from Selena Levy (So., D, San Anselmo, CA/Sir Francis Drake HS) and headed the ball toward the GFU goal. The went near Cardwell, who recorded the save.

For the Bruins, the best opportunities were in the first overtime, as Jenny McKinsey hit the crossbar twice. The first shot was at 93:15 and hit the top of the bar in the middle of the goal. The second shot was at 99:32 and hit the bar near the right post.

The Bruins also came close to scoring on a shot in the second half that Gano saved near the right post, sending the ball into the upright and out of bounds. Gano also earned a quality save on an open shot from about 12 yards out in the second half.

George Fox outshot the Bearcats 20-11, including 8-2 during overtime. The Bruins also held an 11-4 edge in shots on goal. GFU controlled nearly the first five minutes of the initial overtime period, after taking the kickoff and maintaining the ball in Willamette's end.

Although the Bearcats didn't have as many shots as the Bruins overall, Willamette had more possession of the ball in the first half and during various parts of the second half. Late in regulation, the game opened up a bit, with both teams advancing into the attacking half after stopping the other team's offense.

Gano's 11 saves stood out for the Bearcats, as she lowered her goals against average to 0.76 with her third shutout of the season. The solid defensive play of Levy also was noteworthy, as she consistently provided strong clearing passes and spearheaded the efforts of Willamette's defensive players.

Cardwell finished with four saves for George Fox, as she achieved her 17th career shutout to break the GFU record of 16, set by Meghan Gibson from 1997-98. Cardwell also had four saves and was the winning goalkeeper when the Bruins defeated the Bearcats, 3-1, in Newberg, Ore., on Sept. 13.

In the rematch on Thursday, McKinsey took five of GFU's shots, while Nicole Aiku provided four shots. Aiku was the only Bruin in the starting line-up to leave the match. The Bruins played with 10 women for a minute or two when she left the field with an injury about 15 minutes into the second half.

Miller had five of Willamette's total shots and two of the Bearcats' shots on goal. Amber Stevens led GFU with three shots requiring saves by Gano.

The Bearcats will remain at home to take on the University of Puget Sound on Saturday, Oct. 13. Game time is set for 12 p.m. (PDT).

Willamette University 0
George Fox University 0
Kelli Gano provided 11 saves and recorded a shutout in WU's 0-0 tie with George Fox.

Kelli Gano provided 11 saves and recorded a shutout in WU's 0-0 tie with George Fox.