Willamette Shuts Out Rival Linfield

By Sara Brooks, Assistant Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6219

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University shut out Northwest Conference rival Linfield College, 2-0, on Wednesday evening, Sept. 16 in a women's soccer game at Sparks Field. WU, which controlled the ball for most of the game, used constant pressure and solid defense to capture the win.

The Bearcats scored first when Stephanie Skelly (So., MF, Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) stole the ball at midfield, dribbled the ball to 20 yards from the goal and fired a shot that found the bottom left corner of the net. It was Skelly’s first goal of the season and the third of her career. She attempted two shots on goal during the first half.

Skelly’s goal was the only score of the first half, as the Bearcats took a 1-0 lead into the break. Each team had five shots in the first half. However, WU managed three shots on goal compared to Linfield’s two.

Haley Rosenthal (Sr., MF, Cheyenne, WY/Cheyenne East HS) had two shots in the first half, including one shot on goal. Alex Batzer (Jr., F, Medford, OR/North Medford HS) registered the final shot for WU during the first half.

Kelli Gano (Jr., GK, Portland, OR/Cleveland HS) was the goalkeeper for the Bearcats in the first half. She recorded two saves in her 45 minutes of play.

The Bearcats had a solid scoring opportunity twelve minutes into the second half. WU gained control after a Linfield player received a yellow card. On the counter-attack, Batzer attempted a strong shot from 20 yards out but Linfield’s goalkeeper made the save.

Once again, it was Batzer who registered a shot on goal for the Bearcats with 22 minutes remaining. Her shot from 18 yards out hit the crossbar. Batzer and the rest of the Bearcat squad applied pressure on Linfield throughout the second half.

The pressure by the Bearcats paid off when Andrea Rowan (Fr., MF, Boise, ID/Timberline HS) netted her third goal of the season from 16 yards out. Rowan’s goal gave WU a 2-0 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the game.

Willamette tallied 15 shots overall, with nine shots on goal. Linfield was held to just five shots, including two shots on goal. In the second half, the Bearcats registered ten shots and did not allow the Wildcats a single shot.

Willamette moves to 2-2-1 overall and 1-0-0 in conference. Linfield falls to 3-2-0 and 0-1-0 in conference. The Bearcats are back in action on Saturday, Sept. 19 against the University of Puget Sound. The game is set to begin at 12 p.m. (PDT) at Sparks Field.

BOX SCORE
Willamette University 2
Linfield College 0
Stephanie Skelly scored the first goal of the game on a shot from 20 yards.

Stephanie Skelly scored the first goal of the game on a shot from 20 yards.