Monday, September 26, 2011
WALLA WALLA - Puget Sound's one and only shot on goal was all it needed to sneak past Whitman College 1-0 in Northwest Conference women's soccer action Sunday afternoon at the Whitman Athletic Fields.
The Loggers improved to 3-1 in the NWC and 5-2 overall. Whitman slipped to 3-2 in conference and 4-4 on the season.
Whitman outshot the Loggers 20-8 and denied the visitors their first attempt on frame until Christine Isabella knocked home the game winner with just over six minutes left to play.
Puget Sound's scoring strike came after Whitman defenders were unable to clear a ball sent to the far post. Two Loggers got touches before Isabella controlled the ball out front long enough to drill a ball into the netting.
Whitman wasn't quite done, although its frustration only mounted as it fired off four more shots in the closing minutes, forcing Puget Sound keeper Kara Merfeld to make the last three of her nine saves.
While the loss was an agonizing one for Whitman, there is "no reason for our players to hang their heads," Whitman coach Heather Cato said. "We played hard and dominated most of the game.
"Sometimes the scoreboard doesn't reflect the best team on the field. I'm very proud of this team and how it has come together. I'm excited to think that we will only continue to get better."
The Missionaries set the tone early in the first half with Amy Hasson and MacKenzie Hughes blitzing Puget Sound with two shots apiece in the first 10 minutes. Merfeld was up to the challenge, making three saves.
Whitman maintained control for the first 20 minutes before the Loggers made some inroads at their offensive end later in the half. The Missionaries went to intermission with a 7-3 edge in shots.
Whitman continued to apply most of the pressure over the final 45 minutes, putting six of their 13 shots on frame.
Hasson and Marisol Fonzeca each finished with six shots to spark Whitman's game-long offensive onslaught. Hasson forced four keeper saves while Fonzeca was responsible for three more.
Isabella took two of her three Puget Sound shots in the first half. She was the only Logger with more than one shot.
Whitman heads to western Oregon next weekend, playing Saturday at Linfield and Sunday at Lewis & Clark. Both games start at noon.