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Lutes Make it Two in a Row, Beat Willamette, 3-2

Blake Warner (7)
Blake Warner (7)

SALEM, Ore. - Blake Warner scored the tying goal in regulation and blasted home the winner with just under three minutes left in the second overtime as Pacific Lutheran topped Willamette, 3-2, in a Northwest Conference women's soccer match played Sunday afternoon at Sparks Field.

Warner, a sophomore midfielder from Wheat Ridge, Colo., took a shot from about 23 yards out that beat Willamette keeper Nicole Price. The goal gave PLU its second consecutive win in double overtime after the team had played five conference ties earlier this season. The Lutes are now 2-1-5 in the conference and 4-1-5 overall, while Willamette falls to 2-5-1 in the NWC and 4-7-1 overall.

The two weekend wins moved PLU all the way from eighth place into a tie for fourth place in the conference standings.

Lauren Larson, the goal-scoring hero in Saturday's 1-0 double overtime home win against George Fox, got the Lutes on the board 6:01 into the contest, taking a pass from Brenna Sussman and firing home from about 13 yards. Sussman had also provided the pass that led to the game winner against George Fox.

Willamette replied with two goals in a four-minute span of the first half. First, Ariel Wilson took a pass from Ashland Bernard and beat PLU keeper Marisa Gonzalez from close range at 20:10, and just 4:02 later Malia Simpson scored from about eight yards out. The goals came with the run of play as Willamette took 13 first half shots compared to four for the Lutes.

Trailing 2-1 entering the second half, PLU tied it at 57:49 when Warner's corner kick went directly into the goal at the near post.

The host Bearcats maintained their statistical dominance in the half, getting off 10 shots to five for the Lutes, but the game nonetheless went into extra time. Willamette had two shots in the first OT period, forcing a save from Gonzalez, and it was the Lutes that had the only two attempts of the final extra session, with Warner getting the match winner.

Willamette ended up with 25 shots to 12 for the Lutes, though corner kicks were even at five apiece. Gonzalez finished with eight saves compared to four for Price.

Pacific Lutheran is back in action at noon on Saturday when it hosts Whitman in a conference match at East Field.

- PLU -