Pacific Clips Bearcats, 2-1, in Women's Soccer

Bernard Scores for WU on Breakaway Chance

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

FOREST GROVE, ORE. -- Willamette University pulled into a 1-1 tie with Pacific University on a goal in the 53rd minute, but the Boxers tallied a goal 59 seconds later, as the Boxers edged the Bearcats, 2-1, in a Northwest Conference women's soccer game on Sunday, Oct. 30.

The teams split the season series. Willamette won the first meeting, 2-1, in Salem, Ore., on Oct. 1. In that game WU scored two goals in a 1:28 span in the first half to offset a goal in the 13th minute by the Boxers.

With Sunday's win, Pacific advanced its record to 10-5-3 overall, 7-4-3 in the NWC (24 points). Willamette dropped to 10-7-1 overall, 9-4-1 in the NWC (28 points). Both teams have two game remaining on their regular season schedules.

The Bearcats are tied with Whitworth (8-3-4 in the NWC, 28 points) for third place, but Whitworth has just one game remaining, a match-up with the Bearcats on Friday, Nov. 4 at Sparks Field in Salem.

Pacific put in the game's first goal just 3:31 into the first half. Tianna Homad scored the goal unassisted on a shot from 20 yards out. Her shot went off the right post and into the goal.

Neither team scored during the remainder of the opening 45 minutes. Pacific held a 9-6 edge in shots at the break, including 6-1 in shots on goal.

Willamette achieved the equalizer at 52:42 on a goal by Ashland Bernard (Fr., F, Kirkland, WA/Juanita HS). It was her second goal of the year.

Bernard took advantage of a breakaway opportunity, as he hit an empty net from eight yards out after Pacific goalie Kayla Davidson left the top of the penalty area in a effort to stop the attack. Davidson missed on a sliding tackle, allowing Bernard to push the ball forward and then shoot it into the open goal.

The tie lasted for just 59 seconds, as Bryanna DeLima scored for the Boxers at 53:41. She was assisted on the play by Homad, who sent a cross from the right corner which DeLima redirected down and into the net.

Willamette managed only one more shot during the game, as Pacific finished with a 22-9 advantage in total shots. The Boxers also held an 11-3 edge in shots on goal and a 9-2 difference in corner kicks.

After the Boxers took a 1-0 lead, Willamette nearly tied the score in the 12th minute on a shot by Andi Rowan (Jr., MF, Boise, ID/Timberline HS). Rowan shot from left to right across the goal mouth, as she beat Davidson but missed scoring by just one foot.

Pacific had a solid chance to add an insurance goal in the 21st minute. DeLima sent a quality shot toward the left post, but WU goalkeeper Gina Barbieri (Fr., Medford, OR/St. Mary's School) made a spectacular diving save to prevent the goal.

The Boxers kept WU's leading scorer, Stephanie Skelly (Sr., MF, Poulsbo, WA/North Kitsap HS) off the scoreboard for the first time following a four-game goal-scoring streak that included seven goals. Skelly has scored a total of 15 goals this season. In Sunday's game, she was limited to two shots by Pacific.

Bernard and Rowan added two shots apiece for the Bearcats. DeLima of Pacific led all players with five shots during the game, while Homad and Jordan Bodily each took three shots for the Boxers.

Barbieri made nine saves for Willamette. She suffered her first goalkeeping loss of the season, but still has a 6-1-1 record. Davidson achieved two saves for Pacific, while improving to 3-0 on the season.

Willamette's match-up with Whitworth is up next for the Bearcats. Game time on Friday, Nov. 4 is set for 12 p.m. (PDT). The Bearcats will host Whitman in the regular season finale on Saturday, Nov. 5, also at 12 p.m.

Pacific University 2
Willamette University 1
Ashland Bernard scored a goal for Willamette at 52:42 after the Bearcats trailed 1-0 at the half.

Ashland Bernard scored a goal for Willamette at 52:42 after the Bearcats trailed 1-0 at the half.