Late Penalty Kick Sends Whitworth Past Willamette, 2-1

Desautels Nets for the Bearcats

By Timothy Walsh, Assistant Athletics Communications Director

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University battled Northwest Conference leaders Whitworth University to a 1-1 tie through more than 89 minutes, but a controversial penalty kick with just 13 seconds left sent the visiting Pirates to a narrow 2-1 win at Sparks Field on Saturday.

With the loss, Willamette dropped to 5-11-1, 3-9-1 NWC.  Whitworth improved to 10-5-2, 10-1-2 NWC, maintaining a tie with Linfield for first place.

The game's decisive sequence began when two Willamette defenders attempted to dispossess Whitworth's Hannah Bokma inside the Bearcats' 18-yard box. When Bokma tumbled down, the center referee wasted no time pointing to the penalty spot, in spite of protests from both the Bearcats and their bench.

On the ensuing penalty kick, Bearcats goalkeeper Nicole Price (Jr., GK, Auburn, Wash./Thomas Jefferson HS) guessed correctly, but the Pirates' Mackenzie Grow slotted the ball just out of Price's reach into the lower right corner of the net.

That final result was harsh on Willamette, which came out in an aggressive formation against the conference leaders and dictated the pace from the first whistle. The Bearcats' initial pressure was rewarded in the third minute. Malia Simpson (So., MF, Fairbanks, Alaska/West Valley HS), working down the left side, sent a low cross skidding through the Pirates' penalty box.

The ball took a slight deflection off a Whitworth player, then found the feet of Willamette's Sarah Desautels (So., F, Snohomish, Wash./Glacier Peak HS) in the middle of the area. Desautels promptly fired the ball into the lower left corner of the net, past the outstretched arms of Whitworth goalkeeper Andrea Stump. It was Desautels' fourth goal of the season.

The Pirates began to work themselves back into the game, taking five shots and forcing Price into two saves over the following 25 minutes, but Willamette nearly grabbed the game's second goal at 29:12.

Desautels lofted a beautiful corner kick toward the far post, where Andi Rowan (Sr., MF, Boise, Idaho/Timberline HS) launched a goal-bound header. However, a Whitworth defender cleared the ball from the goalmouth, despite the Bearcats' protests that the ball actually struck her upper arm.

Shortly before halftime, at 39:04, Desautels had a chance to add to her tally with a terrific chip shot that had Stump beaten. However, the shot rolled just wide, and Willamette entered the break with a 1-0 lead.

But that lead would not last, as a Whitworth counterattack caught the Bearcats' defense in an awkward position. Just two minutes into the second period, the Pirates' Tiara Pajimola found teammate Jackie Day rushing onto goal, and Day's point-blank shot nestled into the lower right side of Price's net.

With the score 1-1, the Bearcats, immediately attempted to restore their advantage. Shannon Scott (Sr., D, Bellevue, Wash./Sammamish HS) and Ashland Bernard (So., F, Kirkland, Wash./Juanita HS) each forced good saves from Stump, while Desautels and Paige Lancourt (Jr., MF, Eagle, Idaho/Eagle HS) saw their efforts fly past or over the bar.

But it was Kellie Standish (So., F, Redmond, Wash./Eastside Catholic HS) who had Willamette's best chance of the second half in the 81st minute.

With a driving rain and southerly wind blowing across Sparks Field, Standish sent in a dangerous, inswinging corner from the right side. Carried by the wind, the ball very nearly snuck under Whitworth's crossbar, but the 5' 5'' Stump was able to get her left hand high enough to tip the ball over the bar.

Simpson had Willamette's last recorded shot, at 82:16, but the Bearcats' best chance may have come near the end of play, when a Whitworth player appeared to handle a Willamette cross inside the penalty area. The Bearcats' appeals were waved off, however, and on the ensuing counterattack, the Pirates earned the winning penalty kick.

For the game, Willamette outshot Whitworth 19-11, including 10-3 in the second half. No players on either team drew any disciplinary action.

The Bearcats will remain at home tomorrow, Sunday, October 28, to host Whitman College. Kickoff is scheduled for 12:00 p.m. (PDT).

BOX SCORE

Whitworth University 2
Willamette University 1

Sarah Desautels scored her fourth goal this year to give Willamette a 1-0 lead.

Sarah Desautels scored her fourth goal this year to give Willamette a 1-0 lead.