Whitworth stays in NWC title contention

Pirates capture road victory after draw at home and a game cancellation

The Whitworth women’s soccer team tied the Whitman Missionaries and beat the Pacific Lutheran Lutes last weekend, staying in contention for a conference championship.

The Bucs were supposed to face UPS on Saturday, but the game has been postponed because the referees didn’t show up for the match.

The game on Wednesday against the Missionaries ended 1-1 at home after double overtime.

Freshman forward Tiara Pajimola ran onto a pass from senior forward Carly Schilperoort for Whitworth’s lone goal, striking the ball into the bottom left corner of the net.

Pajimola scored in the 77th minute of the match. She is Whitworth’s leading scorer with seven goals this season.

“It’s a pretty cool feeling, especially as a freshman, but I don’t even take all the glory for it. I couldn’t do it without my team,” Pajimola said about being the leading goal scorer.

The contest was the Bucs’ second tie of the season. It was also their second time playing the Missionaries, who they previously beat 1-0 at Whitman.

Pajimola still sees room for improvement as a team.

“We were in a situation where it was tied up, so we can work on calming down under pressure as a team and just playing the way we know we can,” Pajimola said.

Freshman keeper Andrea Stump was able to keep the game close even with the Missionaries outshooting the Pirates 23-7. Stump had eight saves in the match.

“I would say Andrea played very well in the back, in terms of how to help us keep a relatively clean sheet,” head coach Jael Hagerott said. “I would say probably that was the best part of our game.”

Hagerott acknowledged that there is always room for improvement.

“I think just continuing to get players working to recognize we have to be first to the ball, we have to be composed under pressure, always the basics of the game you can get better and better at,” Hagerott said.

On Saturday the Bucs were set to play the University of Puget Sound. The game was postponed and no date has been set for the match which was supposed to be a crucial game between the Whitworth Pirates and the UPS Loggers.

“We warmed up and were about to play and then we realized that the refs hadn’t showed up yet and it turns out that they thought the game was [Sunday] so we didn’t get refs for the game,” Stump said. “We couldn’t play the game so we have to reschedule that at some point.”

Sunday slated the Bucs against Pacific Lutheran, and the Pirates prevailed 1-0.

The game-winning goal came in the 76th minute of the match. Senior midfielder captain Mackenzie Grow broke off in the midfield and hit the ball to senior midfielder Chelsea Schooler who took a shot. The PLU keeper made a save but freshman forward Hannah Bokma  was able to score for Whitworth.

“We started to connect our passes a lot better and we were finding each other. I think we played really well today. Obviously a few little slip-ups here and there, but overall I think we had a good game,” Stump said.

The Pirates enter the remaining regular season games with a 7-5-2 record overall and a 7-1-2 record in conference. They have six remaining games overall due to the  rescheduling of the UPS game. The Pirates are in first place right now, but the battle is still on for postseason games.

“In our conference, only the first place team gets an automatic bid on to the playoffs, so if you’re not pretty much in first place then your season’s done,” Hagerott said.

The Pirates will face Pacific University this Saturday at noon at home and will play George Fox on Sunday at noon.

Whitney Carter Staff Writer

Contact Whitney Carter at wcarter16@my.whitworth.edu.