Corban Edges Willamette, 1-0, in Hard-Fought Match

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

SALEM, ORE. -- Corban University used an early goal to claim a 1-0 victory over Willamette University in a crosstown rivalry match at Sparks Field on Thursday, Sept. 1. The only goal was scored by Corban's Audrey Sullivan just 3:27 into the game. Tera McDonough, who provided the through-pass that led to the goal, earned an assist. Corban improved to 3-1, while Willamette fell to 0-1.

Sullivan received the ball about 28 yards out and had a step or two on the defense. She beat Willamette goalie Nicole Price near the top corner of the penalty box, then shot from 15-yards near the left edge of the box into the empty net.

Despite the goal by Sullivan, Price had a solid game. She registered seven saves, including four top quality stops -- two on back-to-back attempts by Sullivan in the second half.

Corban ended the game with 16 shots and had nine shots on goal. Sullivan and Emily Tsugawa each took four shots and earned three shots on goal for the Warriors.

After overcoming Corban's initial pressure, WU kept possession for significant stretches throughout the match. The Bearcats finished with 13 shots and had five shots on goal. Ariel Wilson (Jr., MF, Fort Collins, CO/Poudre HS) blasted five shots and Stephanie Skelly (Sr., MF, Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) contributed three shots, including two shots on goal.

Wilson registered a promising shot on a header from 10 yards out that went wide of the net with 2:36 left. In the final few seconds a Corban defender cleared a pass out of the box to prevent a last-second shot by the Bearcats.

"I'm pleased with how we played tonight, especially in the second half," WU Head Coach Hillary Arthur said. "With this being our first game, the team was very excited to play and I think that excitement got the better of us in the first half and we had difficulty settling the ball and connecting ... plus it was Corban's fourth game.

"So, with those things considered," Arthur continued, "I think we did an excellent job of coming out in the second half more organized and we were able to settle and stay connected. Our midfield did a great job of connecting and winning balls, our defense was stronger and better organized, and our forwards were more poised up top. And, Nicole, our 'keeper had an excellent game."

Kaitlyn Mendendhall and Alexis Beattie each played well during one half in goal for the Warriors. They combined for five saves to pick up the shutout and also came off the line in time to stop several quality attacked by the Bearcats. Mendenhall played the first 45 minutes, earned the win and made two saves. Beattie recorded three saves in the second half.

The local rivalry game was watched by a crowd of 250 fans. The match featured plenty of quality play and was fast paced.

Willamette will return to action at Sparks Field on Saturday, Sept. 3, when the Bearcats will take on Northwest University (Wash.). Game time is scheduled for 5 p.m. (PDT).

Corban University 1
Willamette University 0
Stephanie Skelly took three shots against the Warriors, including two shots on goal.

Stephanie Skelly took three shots against the Warriors, including two shots on goal.