Lutes Happy to Return to Home Turf
THIS WEEK: Pacific Lutheran hosts the Pomona-Pitzer College Sagehens at noon on Sunday, Sept. 13.
BACK AT HOME: The Lutes return to their home field this Sunday when they host the Pomona-Pitzer College Sagehens starting at noon. Pomona-Pitzer, a member of the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, plays at the University of Puget Sound on Saturday prior to facing the Lutes on Sunday. The Sagehens have started the 2009 campaign with a 0-2 record, losing 2-0 to UC Santa Cruz and 3-1 to Concordia-Moorhead. Pomona-Pitzer actually outshot Concordia, 21-13, including nine shots on goal, but couldn't hold onto an early 1-0 lead. If nothing else this season the Sagehens are accurate shooters - they've taken a total of 29 shots in two matches and have put 15 of them on goal.
HOME IS SWEET: PLU is 1-0 this season on its home turf. The Lutes played their season opener at home on Sept. 1, defeating Northwest University by a 1-0 count. Karli Hurlbut scored the goal and Lauren Chambard and Ivory Harvey combined on the shutout in goal
NEXT UP IS CONFERENCE PLAY: Sunday's match will be the final non-conference tussle for the Lutes, who start their 16-match Northwest Conference slate with road games against Lewis & Clark on Sept. 19 and Linfield on Sept. 20. The Lutes are picked by conference coaches to finish seventh this season after placing sixth a year ago.
TOUGH ROAD TRIP: Though the weather is unseasonably warm in Western Washington for this time of year, you can bet that the Lutes are happy to play on their home field. They played a couple of non-conference matches last weekend in Southern California where temperatures at or near 100 and smoky air from fires made conditions difficult. The Lutes dropped a 5-1 decision to Claremont-Mudd-Scripps on Friday afternoon in a game played in 100-degree temperatures. Senior forward Monica Beard scored an unassisted goal for the Lutes. Less than 24 hours later the Lutes were back in action, facing Chapman University on the Panthers' artificial turf field. With temperatures approaching 90 and the field very hot, the glue holding together the shoes of two of the PLU players actually melted, forcing the players to tape their shoes together so that they could finish the match. Chapman won, 2-0, giving the Lutes a 1-2 start to their season.
YOUTH WILL BE SERVED: Because of the team's youth, the coaching staff has depended a great deal on the veteran leaders to help the younger players in their adjustment to the PLU program and the college game. "There has been an active learning environment in practice," said coach Buffington. "As coaches we've explained why we play a certain way, and the veterans have been providing help to the younger players."
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