Wessel shines on “Senior Day”; Poets drop Oxy 4-1

Wessel shines on “Senior Day”; Poets drop Oxy 4-1

Photo by: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com

WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College women's soccer team not only celebrated Senior Day on Wednesday evening but also their second victory on the season as they beat the Tigers of Occidental College 4-1.

Whittier recognized their six seniors who were playing in their final home contest before the start of tonight's game including Shelly Johiro, Stephanie Bergstrom, Chelsea Irha, Megan Wessel, Anna Edwards, and Hannah Cooley.

On a clear evening the seniors shined as bright as the stars as Wessel knocked in two goals to total three on the season, while Irha knocked in a goal of her own making it four on the year.

For the game Whittier played aggressively and quickly outshooting their opponent 20-10.  Tonight was their most offensive powered game and Wessel led the charge as she was physical in the box allowing herself to get good looks on goal.       

Occidental got on the scoreboard first within the game as Whitney Roline tapped in a ball in the bottom right portion of the goal off of a cross from Alex Nicolson.  But this lead would soon diminish as Wessel came down the field and knocked in a ball from 10 yards out that tied the game thanks to a ball put in by Irha.

Whittier continued to get opportunities to take the lead as they put another four shots on goal but they were denied by Tiger goalkeeper Tayler Renshaw.  But the Poets wouldn't be discouraged and continued to stay deep in Tiger territory forcing the issue. 

Then in the 40th minute Ashlin Steele came down the right sideline and crossed into the box while freshman Madison Shipherd went outside and near the corner flag.   Shipherd then sent in a perfect ball that skipped in front of the goal that was knocked in by Steele helping Whittier take a 2-1 lead going into the half.

Coming out of the break, one could see the Poets were determined to get the win on senior night because three minutes into the second half, Wessel connected on her second goal of the game as she slipped in behind the Tiger defenders and knocked in the goal past a diving Renshaw. 

But the Poets weren't done there as the defense continued to be rock solid after allowing the early goal in the first half.  They remained physical and made sure to clear every ball that came their way. 

The Poets kept the ball in Tiger territory for a majority of the second half and made it very difficult for Occidental to get any good looks on goal.  In the 86th minute Irha took a ball from 30 yards out and decided to take it herself, and she connected all right as she found the upper right corner of the goal putting the Poets up 4-1 and giving them a substantial lead that they would not let slip away. 

The Purple and Gold who have been playing very good soccer as of late look to again become the spoiler within SCIAC as they take on the Sagehens of Pomona-Pitzer, Saturday, October 29 beginning at 11am.