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September 30, 2011

Back to the Road for PLU Women's Soccer

THIS WEEK: The Lutes will be go into this weekend hoping for a new beginning as they travel to Forest Grove, Ore., to face the Pacific University Boxers in a Northwest Conference match scheduled for a noon kickoff on Sunday.

LUTES ENTER THE RING: The Boxers will begin their match with the Lutes with an overall record of 5-2-1 and a conference record of 2-1-1. Last year the Lutes left Forest Grove with a 1-0 loss to the Boxers. Pacific senior midfielder Jordan Bodily was selected the NWC Offensive Player of the Week for her performance a week ago, and the Lutes will look to stop her this Sunday. Bodily has scored 10 points so far this season, including the game-winning goal in overtime against Lewis and Clark last Sunday.

FEEL THE HEAT: The Lutes felt the heat last weekend out in Eastern Washington and it turned out to be a little too much. After facing off with the Whitman Missionaries from Walla Walla and the Whitworth Pirates from Spokane, the Lutes' returned home with a pair of 2-0 losses. Playing in cooler and windy weather on Wednesday, the Lutes dropped a 3-0 conference tilt to visiting Puget Sound. PLU was blanked offensively in the three matches and is looking to turn up the offensive heat starting this Sunday at Pacific.

COMMUNICATION IS KEY: The Lutes have all acknowledged that the majority of goals scored against them this past week could have been stopped. The key? Communication. Unmarked offensive players in the Lutes' own 18-yard box and missed clearances near the goal mouth have both been major struggles as of late. With more communication among the players, both scenarios can be cleaned up with ease. The Lutes also notice the need to get on the board offensively, starting with more shots on goal than their opponent. Out-shooting will lead to out-scoring, and a better conference record for the Lutes.

WHITMAN 2, PLU 0: The Lutes turned up their offensive fire the next day when they met the Missionaries, unfortunately it just wasn't high enough. The Missionaries, like the Pirates, also sealed the game in the first half with two goals in an eight-minute period. The Missionaries took the reins for the rest of the first half, outshooting the Lutes 8-2. After half time the Lutes came back hard, hoping to get on the board. Freshman Sarah Gamache and senior Karli Hurlbut led the Lutes offensively, putting a total of 8 shots against Missionaries keeper Lauren Brougham. In the end, the Missionaries outshot the Lutes overall 19-10, forcing senior keeper Lauren Chambard to make five saves in the second half, keeping the Lutes close.

WHITWORTH 2, PLU 0: The Pirates drowned the Lutes early on in the match last Saturday with two goals scored within a two-minute span in the first half. It was not only the Pirate's offense that stumped the Lutes, but their defense as well; the Lutes were not allowed a shot the entire game. Pirates Chloe Cook and Chelsea Schooler found the back of the net off assists from Mackenzie Grow and Aaren Sherpe. Whitworth keeper Callie Bergstrom had very little activity on her end of the field; the Lutes own Lauren Chambard finished the game with four saves.

UPS 3, PLU 0: Conference-leading Puget Sound broke away from a scoreless halftime tie with a trio of second half goals to beat host Pacific Lutheran, 3-0, in a Wednesday afternoon game played at the PLU field. Puget Sound got on the board in the 58th minute on an own goal by the PLU defense. The Loggers grabbed the momentum and scored in the 66th and 67th minutes to ice the game. Both teams hit the goal frame in the second half, including PLU's Blake Warner rattling the cross bar.

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