Whitworth Falls to Wheaton in First Game

Whitworth Falls to Wheaton in First Game

by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant

WHEATON, Ill. – The Whitworth Pirates couldn't contain Chelsea Gnan, who scored a hat trick in a 4-1 Wheaton Thunder victory Friday night.  

Leah Corra scored the lone goal for the Pirates in their season opener. Kathryn Bischoff and McKenzie Hemp also put up shots on goal.

The Thunder were the aggressors in the first half, taking eleven shots and five shots on goal.  Gnan opened the scoring when a shot from two feet outside the box bounced off the bottom of the crossbar and into the goal. Izzy McNally padded the lead on a penalty kick to make it a 2-0 Thunder lead at halftime.

Whitworth took only one shot in the first half. Hemp's 42nd minute attempt was saved by Kathryn McGregor. 

The Pirates got their offense in gear in the second half, letting two shots on goal fly in the first ten minutes of play. Corra and Bischoff manufactured good chances through the Wheaton defense, but McGregor saved both. 

In the 61st minute, Whitworth broke through. Morgan Howe curled a cross to the penalty spot where Corra fired Whitworth's first goal to the back of the net. Corra's goal cut the Thunder lead in half and gave the Pirates a chance to come back. 

Gnan, however, would not be denied. She picked up successive goals beating defenders outside the box to extend the Thunder's lead back to 4-1, where it stayed for the remainder of the contest.

Sienna Tanner and Molly Webster split time in goal for Whitworth. The duo combined for ten saves. McGregor saved three Pirate shots. The Thunder ended the game with a 14-4 advantage in shots on goal.

Tomorrow, Whitworth will look to bounce back against Denison University at 9:30 a.m. The match is part of the Bob Baptista Invitational and will take place at Wheaton College.