Conference Play Brings High Hopes For Women's Soccer
THIS WEEK: With the short preseason now completed for the Lutes, the Pacific Lutheran University women's soccer team focuses it's attention on the heart of the schedule as Northwest Conference play begins this weekend. The Lutes have high hopes for the 2011 conference season, looking to move into the top half of the table this season. To open, the Lutes will play host Saturday to the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers in a battle of teams that have seen limited success in recent years. Sunday brings in a Willamette University side that looks to avenge the upset the Lutes handed them late in the 2010 season.
PANNING FOR VICTORY: In Saturday's match against the visiting Lewis & Clark Pioneers, the Lutes will aim to send a message to the NWC coaches of their intentions on the pitch this season. In the preseason coaches poll, the Pios were slated to finish above the Lutes, even after finishing below the Parkland side every year since joining the Northwest Conference. The recent history between the teams has been back-and-forth, with the PLU taking three of the last five matches played. Thus far in 2011, the Pios are 1-2-1, with early season losses to NAIA opponents Evergreen State and Warner Pacific and a win against St. Catherine. The Lutes split games with the Pios in 2010, with PLU taking the first matchup 2-0 and L&C snapping up a 3-2 OT win in late October. The Lutes are 28-4-2 all-time against the Pios, and will hope to continue this success come Saturday. The match will be held at Noon at the PLU soccer field.
ABOUT THE BEARCATS: In a quick turn around from the day before, the Lutes will take on a tough Willamette University Bearcats squad Sunday that will be out for rengence come matchday. In the final weekend of the 2010 season, the Lutes stunned the Bearcats 1-0 on a late Alex Murray strike that propelled the Lutes to victory. Coming into that match in early November, the Bearcats had won three straight in the series, but the tenacious Lute squad grabbed the win late on. The Lutes trail in the all-time series, sitting at 27-31-4 in the 30 year history of this rivalry. Leading the Bearcats this season is junior Andi Rowan who has a goal and an assist from her post in the midfield. The match will be at Noon at the PLU soccer field.
GO. SEE. DO.: The Saturday match against Lewis & Clark is a Go. See. Do. event for the PLU campus, and is intended to bring out as many students as possible to the women's and men's games that day.
PLU 1, MONTCALIR ST. 0: Sophomore goalkeeper Laurie Reddy recorded 10 saves in her first collegiate start and Erica Boyle scored the game's only goal in the 56th minute as Pacific Lutheran beat Montclair State, 1-0, in a non-conference women's soccer match played Saturday at the PLU field. Reddy and her defensive teammates had to withstand 20 Redhawks shots, including 10 on goal, while the Lutes managed just five shots during the match. Boyle converted the only one that PLU needed, however, hitting a seven-yard volley past Gina Policastro and into the net. The assist went to Blake Warner. With the victory, PLU improves to 1-1 for the season. Montclair State, which traveled across the country from New Jersey, is now 3-2 after losing a pair of 1-0 decisions on its trip to Washington. The Redhawks out-shot their two opponents, 36-12, but could not put the ball into the back of the net.
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