WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Amy Sterk headed in a goal in the 86th minute to lift visiting Whitworth to a 1-0 win over Whitman in the Northwest Conference women's soccer opener for both schools on Wednesday afternoon.
The Pirates broke a four-match losing streak to improve to 1-4 overall and 1-0 in the NWC. The Missionaries fell to 1-4 and 0-1.
Whitworth survived a first half in which Whitman outshot the Pirates 11-1. But Pirate goalkeeper Andrea Stump was up to the task, making five of her seven saves. She ended up posting the first Whitworth shutout of the season and the first of her young career.
The Pirates settled down and ended up outshooting the Missionaries 6-5 in the second half, including a 4-2 edge in shots on goal after halftime.
The winning goal came when Tiara Pajimola crossed a ball to the middle of the box where Sterk was waiting to head it past Whitman keeper Emily Davis. The goal was the first of Sterk's career.
The Whitworth defense clamped down and did not allow Whitman to take a shot in the final four minutes to possibly force overtime. In fact the only shot came off of the foot of Pajimola, whose attempt went high in the final ten seconds.
Whitworth will return home to host Lewis & Clark College and Willamette University this weekend, looking to continue the strong play that began with a 2-1 overtime loss to nationally-ranked Augustana last Saturday.