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Lutes Tie Loggers, 2-2, End Long Losing Streak

Nicoya Benham-Marin (24) heads the ball out of danger.
Nicoya Benham-Marin (24) heads the ball out of danger.

TACOMA - Lauren Larson scored a pair of first half goals and Marisa Gonzalez made nine saves - several of the spectacular variety - as Pacific Lutheran tied Puget Sound, 2-2 in double overtime, to end a 27-match losing streak to the Loggers.

The game was played Thursday afternoon at Puget Sound's Baker Stadium. With the tie in the Northwest Conference opener for both squads, PLU is now 2-0-1 overall, while Puget Sound sees its record go to 1-2-1.

Larson, a freshman forward out of nearby Curtis High School, netted her fourth and fifth goals of the season to give the Lutes an early 2-0 lead. She opened the scoring just 6:07 into the match when she ran onto Mimi Granlund's through ball and finished to the upper right corner of the goal. The second tally came at 14:31 when Larson took a pass from Hannah Bush near the top of the box and hit it past Loggers keeper Casey Thayer and into the lower left corner. The assist was the fourth of the season for Bush, a sophomore midfielder from Tacoma's Stadium High School.

The 2-0 lead stunned a crowd that came expecting to see the 10-time defending conference champions Loggers make it 28 straight wins over PLU dating back to the 1998 season.

Puget Sound had a 10-3 advantage in shots and seven corners to none for the Lutes through the first 45 minutes, but it was Larson and the Lutes who did the scoring. In the second half, however, the Loggers were finally rewarded for their pressure on the PLU defense.

After Gonzalez dove to her right to parry away a goal-bound UPS shot about seven minutes into the second half, Amalia Acorda-Fey headed home her fourth goal of the season from Haley Rosenberg's corner kick to cut the UPS deficit in half. That tally came at 70:25, and at 82:16 Robin Vieira got her first goal of the season, finishing past Gonzalez from Theresa Henle's cross. The tying goal came just a couple of minutes after a short flurry of PLU shots on goal that were saved by Puget Sound substitute keeper Kara Merfeld.

Both teams had several scoring chances in the two overtime periods. About 2:45 into the second overtime period Gonzalez charged off her line and got a hand to a potential game-winning shot by Acorda-Fey. Another Puget Sound chance came on Rosie Jaye's shot off the post with 3 1/2 minutes left, while PLU's best chance came about a minute later when Larson's left-footed drive just missed outside of the left post.

Puget Sound ended up with a 28-11 advantage in shots, though shots on goal were much closer at 11-7. The Loggers also took 12 corner kicks to three for PLU.

The Lutes return to action at noon on Sunday when they host the Pacific Boxer on East Field, PLU's new synthetic turf field on the southwest corner of the campus.

- PLU -