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Titans concede two in the 2nd half of 2-1 playoff loss to Walla Walla

Lane Women's soccer. Courtesy of Andrew Haubner, KEZI 9
Lane Women's soccer. Courtesy of Andrew Haubner, KEZI 9

The Titans scored first in the 1st round of the 2018 NWAC women's soccer playoffs, but conceded two goals in the 2nd half to the visiting Warriors of Walla Walla. The match is an elimination game, so the Titans season comes to an end after only one game.

How it happened: In the 11th minute the Warriors' Caitlin Crist shot from just inside the penalty box, but Hanalyn Sypher made a diving save going to her right. The Warriors ensuing corner kick resulted in nothing and the Titans had saved off an early chance.

The Titans got on the board first in the 30th minute. A combination play with Yuuyu Suzuki, Danielle VanOrd and Bailey Johnson lead to the opening goal of the match. Suzuki gained possession on the right side of the mid-field, drew her defender and found VanOrd just outside of the penalty box; VanOrd then dribbled to the endline before passing back to the middle of the field where Johnson was making her run and ended in the first goal of the match.

The Warriors upped the aggression offensively the rest of the 1st half. In the 34th minute, the Warriors got a shot on goal by Victoria Higley, but another good stop by Hanalyn Sypher kept the Warriors off the board. The Titans got one more shot off, by Johnson, before the end of the 1st half, but it was wide right.

The 2nd half began with the Titans being aggressive, VanOrd shot wide to the left only 34 seconds into the 2nd half. There were no shots for another 11 minutes when the Warriors got a shot from Haley Wammock, but another save by Hannalyn Sypher perserved the 1-0 advantage. The Titans got a few more shots off, but in the 65th minute the Warriors got the equalizer. Klarissa Baraja scored off an assist from Caitlin Crist in what was a scramble in the box.

The Titans didn't seem to get their barrings after conceding the first goal, and after 10 minutes the Warriors got their second, and game-winning, goal after a questionable penalty call from the center referee. Haley Wammock took the PK and put it in the bottom left corner of the net for what would be a 2-1 victory for the Warriors.

Who/what stood out: Bailey Johnson recorded her 12th goal of her freshman season, good for 12th best in the NWAC. She finishes with 28 points, third on the Titans and 14th in the NWAC. Danielle VanOrd didn't score, but she did get her 7th assist of the season and wraps up the season with 43 points, 5th in NWAC.

The Titans got on the board first and had multiple scoring opportunities, but they struggled to gain and hold possession against the Warriors once they had the lead. Hanalyn Sypher may have double her conceded goal total for the season, but she made multiple tough saves that kept the Warriors from putting more on the board. The Titans and Warriors both had eight shots, but the Warriors had a 7-3 shot on goal advantage.

Both head coaches had multiple times they were frustrated by the calls from the center referee, with the penalty being most notable.

The Titans were without star freshman mid-fielder Aja Bumpus, who missed the final two games of the season. A big loss considering she took a lot of pressure off Suzuki and VanOrd in the mid-field. She was also very good at being the player who started or finished a possession with a goal, as she helped defensively to gain possession back.

What it means: The Titans finish their season 14-2-2.

What's next: They loose both goal keepers, Kaitlyn Weber and Sypher, and their back three of Alia Donley, Jessie Scott and Morgan Richards.

But out of the 11 player, that played all year and recorded a point, seven of them are freshman. And five of the top six point scorers are freshmen. So, the 2019 Titans should be even more dangerous offensively, but there will be question marks surrounding the back line and who's in goal.