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Larson's Strike Gives PLU First NWC Soccer Win

Lutes celebrate the winning goal by Lauren Larson.
Lutes celebrate the winning goal by Lauren Larson.

Lauren Larson hit a left-footed rocket from just outside the penalty area into the far side netting in the second overtime on Saturday afternoon, giving Pacific Lutheran a 1-0 Northwest Conference women's soccer victory over the visiting George Fox Bruins at East Field.

Larson's shot, and another staunch effort by goalkeeper Marisa Gonzalez and her defense, resulted in PLU's first conference victory of the season. The Lutes are now 1-1-5 in the NWC and 3-1-5 overall. George Fox remained winless in seven conference matches and is 1-8-2 overall.

Pacific Lutheran entered the match with a PLU women's soccer program five ties, all coming against conference foes. Until Larson scored her sixth goal of the season with 5:02 remaining in the second overtime, it looked as though PLU would get its sixth tie.

Defender Brenna Sussman started the play, passing the ball to Larson, who received it with her back to the goal. Spinning on her defender, she struck the ball past diving Bruins goalkeeper Alyssa Montero and into the goal. The stunning shot started a frenzied PLU celebration with Larson buried at the bottom of a pile of her teammates.

Most of the match was played in the middle of the field as neither offense really got hold of the match. Pacific Lutheran finished with 11 shots compared to seven for George Fox. Both goalkeeper ended up with three saves, and PLU had a 6-4 margin in corner kicks.

The shutout was the fourth of the season for Gonzalez, PLU's freshman keeper.

The Lutes return to conference action at noon on Saturday when they play the Willamette Bearcats in Salem, Ore.

- PLU -