Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond
TACOMA, Wash. – Experience helped the Pacific Lutheran University women's soccer team top a pesky Whitman College on Saturday with four goals from upperclassmen leading to a final score of 4-1 at East Field.
The Lutes (14-3, 11-2 Northwest Conference) got on the board in the 30th minute when Maddie Landreth sent a pass to Machaela Graddy who scored her ninth goal of the year. The Blues (2-14-1, 2-10-1 NWC) equalized in the 53rd minute on a shot from Pagan Hetherington who scored from 40 yards out. Ashley Mindnich scored in the 69th minute giving PLU a 2-1 lead off an assist from Kaylie Rozell.
"Ashley was injured a couple weeks ago and she's been working hard," head coach Seth Spidahl said. "She looked really dangerous in practice this week to score goals. I told her she was going to score today. I'm happy for her."
The Lutes had their way offensively over the Blues. PLU outshot Whitman 16-2 in total with 10 shots coming in the second half. The Lutes also had chances on corner kicks. They had three in the first half, then two more in the second for a total of five to Whitman's one.
"We were not at our best today, but we found a way and really showed some grit at the end," Spidahl said. "We're going to have to be better tomorrow because Whitworth is a good team. I'm confident in our team. They are a resilient group and they are an experienced group. They've been in these situations before and they know what they need to do tomorrow."
PLU hosts Whitworth University tomorrow at East Field as the two team's battle for the top spot in the Northwest Conference. It's also senior day, as nine athletes will be honored prior to the opening kick at 11:40 a.m.