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Great defensive game marred by unlucky bounce of the ball

September 24, 2002

by James J. Portune

Olympia, WA - Two forty-five minutes halves of regulation women's soccer was not enough to determine the winner of the Warner Pacific at Evergreen State College game. When the final shot did come, at the 105th minute of the game, it was not a specific player that gave Warner Pacific (4-3 conf, 4-4 overall) the 1-0 overtime win over the Geoducks (2-3 conf, 2-6 overall).

From the left side of the field, sophomore Holly Tillett's corner kick rose only to shoulder height of the massed in front of Evergreen's goal. When the ball finished careening off players, to the horror of the Geoducks, it rested in the back of their net.

"Both teams battled hard," said Warner Pacific Head Coach Bernie Fagan, a goalkeeper in his college playing days. "Evergreen was unlucky on the last goal."

The very physical contest was dominated for the most part by Evergreen. Of the twelve shots-on-goal taken by the Geoducks, three came off the foot of junior midfielder AJ Fairburn (Tacoma, WA/Stadium HS). Tiffany Fenster (Seattle, WA/Roosevelt HS), Jackie Schlindwein (Anacortes, WA/Anacortes HS) and Niki Claussen (Shelton, WA/Shelton HS) each were created with two shots. With Heather Gordon (Walnut Creek, CA/Acalanes HS), Celeste Holz-Schietinger (Portland, OR/Pacific Crest Community School) and Crystal Vanderhoof (Tenino, WA/Tenino HS) making a serious attempt to win the game for Evergreen.

In comparison, Warner Pacific had three total shots on goal, two coming from Tillett and the other from Noel Cameron.Junior goalkeeper Brianna Hilby was credited with the shutout for the Knights.

Even with the higher number of shot attempts, Evergreen Head Coach Arlene McMahon felt that her team did not shoot enough. "We have to take the shot when we have it," she stated, following the heart breaking loss.

It was not an uncommon sight in this contest to see both goalkeepers out of their box, in a foot race with opposing forwards for the loose ball. Each time the decision proved to be the correct one for the keepers, as neither team was able to score in one-on-one situation.

"Amanda (Grayum) did a good job supporting Sara (Hart) today," added McMahon.

On two occasions, for Warner Pacific, the ball rested on the grass unattended in front of an open Evergreen goal. The first time following a hard save by Sara Hart (Federal Way, WA/Thomas Jefferson HS), and the second time, in the second half, when a Tillett won the foot race with Hart and pushed the ball around the Geoduck keeper. But, on both occasions, junior defender Amanda Grayum (Olympia, WA/River Ridge HS) saved the day for Evergreen, swooped in from behind and clearing the ball, denying the Knight a score.

For their next two games Evergreen will be on the road, playing in Klamath Falls, Oregon, on Friday against Oregon Tech, and in Ashland, Ore., Saturday against Southern Oregon.

Following the road trip, the Geoducks be at home for their next six games. The home stand begins on Friday, Oct 4th, against Eastern Oregon at 4:00 p.m. on Field 4.