Boxers Write off the Poets for First Time Ever

FOREST GROVE Pacific put an appropriate period on Whittier's three-game Northwest road trip Friday, getting through a physical contest to write off the Poets 11-8 in action at Lincoln Park Stadium.

It was Pacific's first-ever win over Whittier and marked the only loss on the Poets' road trip that saw them score victories over Puget Sound and Linfield. The game was hard fought and aggressive with a total of six yellow cards issued to the two teams.

Kelly Stevens (Jr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) led Pacific in scoring for the third straight contest with three goals. Melanie Niehus (Fr., Colorado Springs, Colo.) and Kasey Killingbeck (So., Nampa, Idaho) each scored two while four other Pacific players tallied a goal apiece. Lily Baxter paced Whittier (4-8) with five goals while three other players scored one goal each.

The game proved to be an offensively charged contest despite the low score. Pacific (5-4) out-shot Whittier by a narrow 30-29 margin while holding a 33-30 advantage in ground balls. Whittier held an 11-9 edge in draw controls while both teams turned the ball over 26 times.

Whittier opened the game by scoring two goals in the first seven minutes, but a tough Pacific defense made sure that goals would be few and far in between from that point. Amy Mayhugh (Fr., Tigard, Ore.) tallied Pacific's opening goal 10 minutes into the stanza, and Stevens tied the game at 2-2 off of Carmen Taplin's (Jr., Hillsboro, Ore.) assist. Stevens doubled up the Poets 4-2 with her free-position shot with 8:33 left before Baxter scored with five minutes to go to bring the Poets within 4-3 at halftime.

Shaina Denny evened things up with the opening goal of the second half, but the Boxers responded with a string of four unanswered goals. Brittany Hartmann (Jr., Portland, Ore.) started the run with her unassisted strike with 21:41 to go and Killingbeck closed it with her goal at the 14:09 mark to give Pacific an 8-4 edge.

Baxter tallied back-to-back goals for the Poets over the next three minutes to bring the visitors back within two before Killingbeck and Taplin scored to give the Boxers a four-goal lead again with 5:44 left. Baxter and Raquel Damti followed with back-to-back goals to bring the Poets back within two before Kristin Dick (Jr., Auburn, Wash.) tallied with 1:23 left. Pacific won the ensuing draw control and proceeded to run out the clock.

Ali Loeb (So., Portland, Ore.) made a season-high 17 saves in goal for the Boxers as she scored the win. Nicole Yorba made 11 saves in the loss for Whittier.

Today's game split up a pair of long road trips for the Boxers to the South and the Midwest. The Boxers return to action on Thursday as they face North Central (Ill.) in Naperville, Ill. Whittier is back to action next Saturday as they host SCIAC rival Occidental.

2012-03-30



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