Ewers' Chip, Bernard's Hat Trick Lift Bearcats Past Pioneers, 4-3

Bernard, Phillips and Simpson Earn Assists for Willamette

By Timothy Walsh, Athletics Communications Writer

PORTLAND, ORE. -- Willamette University lost a 3-1 lead in the last five minutes of regulation, but a breakaway goal from Veronica Ewers (Fr., MF/F, Moscow, ID/Moscow HS) nearly 10 minutes into overtime snatched the visiting Bearcats a 4-3 victory over upstart Lewis & Clark College on Wednesday evening.

Ewers received a pass from Ashland Bernard (So., F, Kirkland, WA/Juanita HS), who scored all three of Willamette's goals in regulation, to start the final play. Ewers then broke to the right side of the field and chipped the game-winner over Pioneers' goalkeeper Geena Fong. The goal was Ewers' first as a Bearcat.

With the victory, Willamette improved to 3-2, 1-0 in Northwest Conference play. L&C dropped to 0-4, 0-1.

Bernard opened the scoring with a breakaway goal of her own just 12:11 into the match, but the Pioneers responded two minutes later, when Anna Thorndike nodded in Emilia Emmetti's corner kick.

After a cagey 15 minutes that saw just one shot between the two teams, Bernard fired Willamette back in front at 29:29, when Fong couldn't keep out her shot. Bernard's goal was her team-leading fourth of the season. It was assisted by Jill Phillips (Fr., MF, Fairbanks, AK/West Valley HS).

The Bearcats dominated the remainder of the period, with Ariel Wilson (Sr., MF, Fort Collins, CO/Poudre HS), Andrea Rowan (Sr., MF, Boise, ID/Timberline HS), and Sabine Wetzel (Jr., D, Martinez, CA/Campolindo HS) all forcing Fong into saves before halftime.

The early stages of the second half saw both teams searching for another goal, as Willamette and L&C each registered four shots in the first 25 minutes, but the Bearcats found the back of the net first, at 71:49. Bernard beat both the Pioneers' back line and Fong off a feed from Malia Simpson (So., MF, Fairbanks AK/West Valley HS) to give Willamette a 3-1 lead.

Bernard's third goal seemed to have put the game on ice, but L&C continued to be dangerous, registering three shots over the following 15 minutes. At 86:47, the Pioneers' persistence found reward, as Emily Thompson lofted a shot from outside the penalty area past Willamette goalkeeper Gina Barbieri (So., Medford, OR/St. Mary's School), pulling L&C within one goal.

Less than a minute later, Taylor Hudson latched onto the end of Sarah Schoville's cross, and the Pioneers - who outshot Willamette 10-5 in the second half - were level.

But after L&C fired four shots in the first nine minutes of overtime to the Bearcats' zero, Bernard's team-leading third assist of the season found the substitute Ewers, whose chip sent Willamette to its first overtime victory since 2009 and into a tie with Pacific and Whitworth atop the NWC standings.

Bernard's three-goal performance takes her into second place on the NWC scoring list, while her assist tally (two for the season) is tied with five other athletes for second in the league.

Though Lewis & Clark outshot the Bearcats 18-13, Willamette gained a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. In addition to Barbieri, who notched three saves, Willamette's Jill Phillips (Fr., MF, Fairbanks, AK/West Valley HS) and Wetzel each played the full 100 minutes. No Bearcats drew any disciplinary action, but L&C's Grace Mehlhaff did receive a yellow card at 89:02.

The Bearcats will stay on the road this weekend, visiting Northwest Conference foes Whitman College and Whitworth University. Willamette faces the Missionaries at 12:00 p.m. (PDT) on Saturday, September 15 in Walla Walla, Wash., and will play the Pirates on Sunday, September 16 in Spokane, Wash., also at 12:00 p.m.

Willamette University 4
Lewis & Clark College 3 (OT)
Freshman Victoria Ewers' 100th minute golden goal was also her first career goal at Willamette.

Freshman Victoria Ewers' 100th minute golden goal was also her first career goal at Willamette.

Ashland Bernard racked up two goals and two assists against the Pios.

Ashland Bernard racked up two goals and two assists against the Pios.