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Women's Soccer Looks to Clinch NWC Crown in Oregon to Close Regular Season

Women's Soccer Looks to Clinch NWC Crown in Oregon to Close Regular Season

Written by Student Assistant Christian Bond

TACOMA, Wash. – The Pacific Lutheran University women's soccer team looks to complete its mission of winning its second straight Northwest Conference title this weekend. To do so, they'll have to secure two points over the weekend as they face Oregon rival George Fox University on Saturday at 11 a.m. and Lewis & Clark College on Sunday at 12 p.m.

PLU (15-3, 12-2 NWC) has enjoyed great success throughout the 2017 season. They're a perfect 10-0 on the turf at East Field. This weekend, they'll look to add on to their 5-3 road record as they get closer to returning to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The team has been lead by its defense that has only allowed four goals over 18 games, ranking fourth in the nation in shutout percentage (0.778) and fifth in goals against average (0.22).

Natalie Robinson has spent 1,638 minutes in goal for the Lutes. The junior out of Seattle, Washington leads the Northwest Conference in fewest goals allowed with just four and a 0.22 goals against average. She sits second in conference with a .909 save percentage. Nationally, Robinson's goals against average ranks fifth among NCAA Division III keepers while sitting seventh nationally in save percentage. 

The Lutes have received fantastic offensive production from the reigning Northwest Conference Offensive Player of the Year. Machaela Graddy sits second in conference with 10 goals, she leads the conference with eight assists making her the best point producer in the NWC (28). Leah Magee is fourth in the league in goals (seven), Kaylie Rozell is third in assists (six) while Liz Griffith can also be found in the top five in assists as she sits fifth with four.

As a team, PLU has scored 35 goals, five more than the second place team. Their efficient with their looks, sitting second in conference with a .132 shot percentage. Again, their defense has been stellar. PLU has allowed four goals, six fewer than the next best defensive squad in the NWC.

The Lutes hope to finish the job at George Fox on Saturday at 11 a.m. and follow it up with a good performance at Lewis & Clark on Sunday at 12 p.m.

Nov. 4: PLU vs. George Fox in Newberg, Ore (11 a.m.)

Series History: The Lutes enjoy a 31-15-3 edge in the all-time series and are unbeaten in the last 16 encounters (15-0-1) on the soccer pitch. PLU dominated the Bruins when the two teams played on Oct. 7. The Lutes had five different players score goals in a 5-0 win over the Bruins.

About the Bruins: George Fox (8-7-2, 6-6-2 NWC) heads towards the final weekend of the regular season on an even keel. In their last three weekends, the Bruins are 3-3 suffering losses to the University of Puget Sound (1-0), Whitworth University (2-0) and a double overtime defeat to Linfield College (2-1).

Chloe Shumaker leads the Bruins in scoring, netting four goals on the season and is one of seven Bruins with multiple goals. Kelsey Kammerzell has handled a majority of the goalkeeping duties, starting all nine games and making 53 saves with a 0.76 goals against average.

Nov. 5: PLU at Lewis & Clark in Portland, Ore (12 p.m.)

Series History: The Lutes have dominated the all-time series against the Pioneers, sporting an impressive 39-4-4 record in the all-time series. PLU is unbeaten (11-0-2) in the last 13 meetings, including a 1-0 win on Oct. 8th.

About the Pioneers: Lewis & Clark (3-13-3, 2-11-1 NWC) heads into the weekend looking to build momentum for the 2018 season. Lewis & Clark's last win came on Oct. 13 against Whitman College when the Pioneers won 2-1 in overtime over the Blues.

Kennie Beighle and McKenzie Wingard lead the club with four goals each. Caroline Hennes and Courtney Schmidt have chased in for goals three times while Anna Saucedo is the only other Pioneer with multiple goals.
Hannah Osmundson and Megan Sawyer have split time in goal this season. Osmundson has more minutes, logging 938.22, making 53 saves with a save percentage of .697. Sawyer has played 650 minutes between the posts, making 42 saves for a save percentage of .712.