McMINNVILLE, Ore. - A sway of momentum that featured a flurry of goals at the end first half was not enough for Linfield, whose valiant comeback effort from six goals down fell short against the Southwestern University (Texas) Pirates by a score of 16-13 Saturday at the Linfield lacrosse field.
Trailing 8-2 with just over seven minutes remaining in the opening period, Linfield erupted for five unanswered goals to pull within one point at the break.
The match remained relatively tight throughout the second half. The Wildcats took their first lead when Chas Tittle evaded her defender and planted the ball in the back of the net, putting the hosts in front 11-10 with 20:40 on the clock.
After Southwestern again went back on top 12-11, Halee Helgerson spun past her defender and scored for Linfield, knotting the score at 12 with 15:09 to play. With the outcome riding in the balance, the Pirates' Natalie Rivera and Kaitlyn Campbell tallied goals three minutes apart and Southwestern picked up four of next five points to clinch the victory.
Campbell recorded a match-high six goals while Allison Schmitt had four to pace the Pirates. For the Wildcats, Tittle, Helgerson and Shelby Duarte each scored three times. Kelsey Dammarell (Sr., Salem, Ore.) punched in two goals and freshman Nicole Aguilar picked up her first collegiate goal.
In the first half, Campbell opened the scoring less than a minute into the game. After a Wildcats equalizer, the Pirates scored the next two goals. Tittle got her name on the scoresheet, sprinting from midfield all the way to Southwestern's net, scoring unassisted.
The visitors went on a 5-0 run in an 8-minute, 14-second span to open up an 8-2 lead with Campbell netting two goals.
Two Duarte goals sparked Linfield's late-half rally. The Wildcats scored five unanswered goals in the final 6:20 to pull within 8-7 at the intermission.
Both goalkeepers – Linfield's Erika Phillipo and Southwestern's Caitlin Stanyard – made magnificent saves to keep their teams within reach of the other. Stanyard made seven saves while Phillipo stopped eight shots.
The Pirates (4-4) outshot Linfield 31-28 but committed five additional turnovers, 21-16. Linfield (0-7) enjoyed its best statistical match of the season, notching season highs for goals (13), shots (28) and ground balls (38).
AHEAD: Linfield challenges the Pacific University Boxers in McMinnville on Tuesday. The game is set to start at 5 p.m.