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GEORGE FOX 3, LEWIS & CLARK 2: Gaither Guides Bruins to Victory over PioneersSalem-News.com Sports
George Fox (5-10-3, NWC 4-9-1) plays its final home game of the season Friday at 12:00 noon against Linfield College
(NEWBERG, Ore.) - Melanie Gaither assisted on the first George Fox University goal and scored the other two, the last a game-winner with just over six minutes left, lifting the Bruins to a 3-2 win over the Lewis & Clark College Pioneers in Northwest Conference women’s soccer action Sunday afternoon here at the Austin Sports Complex.
Gaither as a scoring threat enabled the Bruins to take a 1-0 lead 14 minutes into the game. The sophomore transfer, who played one season at California Baptist University, acquired the ball in the middle of the penalty box and turned on her defender toward the right post, drawing Pioneer goalkeeper Elise Delgado to that side. Gaither then tapped the ball to Sarah Brase coming in from the left side, and she had an easy shot into a wide-open goal for her first score of the season.
The score stayed that way until the 63rd minute in the second half, when Gaither gathered in a loose ball in full stride midway between the center circle and the penalty box and out-raced every defender to take Delgado one-on-one, winning that battle with a shot to the lower right corner to make it 2-0. It was her third goal of the season.
The Pioneers turned to leading scorer Natalie Levy to get back into the game. In the 70th minute, a George Fox foul allowed Levy to take a free kick from 25 yards out near the left corner of the box, and she drove a liner over keeper Alyssa Montero off the crossbar and down into the net to cut the Bruin lead in half.
Six minutes later, it was Levy again, angling a shot from 20 yards out near the right corner of the box into the upper left corner of the net following a lead pass from Katie Browning to knot the count at 2-2. It was her fifth goal of the season.
With time winding down and overtime looming, Gaither struck again for the winner. Shannon Olson put a ball through the middle and Gaither caught up to it, taking Delgado one-on-one again and rolling another shot past the L&C goalie into the right corner for her fourth goal of the year.
The Pios had one more golden opportunity to tie when Catherine Kitts got free on the right side inside the box and drilled a shot a foot of so over the crossbar with just under a minute to go. The Pioneers’ final shot with 30 seconds left resulted in a routine stop by Montero.
George Fox out-shot Lewis & Clark 18-16, but the Pios held the edge in shots on goal, 9-8. Montero made seven saves for the Bruins while Delgado had five for the Pios. Corner kicks were even at three apiece.
NEXT: George Fox (5-10-3, NWC 4-9-1) plays its final home game of the season Friday at 12:00 noon against Linfield College ... The Bruins will recognize their three graduating seniors - Kirsten Cardwell, Melissa Leighty, and Nicole Akiu - in pre-game ceremonies ... Lewis & Clark (3-12-3, NWC 1-12-1) hosts Whitman College Friday at 12:00 noon.
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