EUGENE — The Walla Walla Community College women’s soccer team picked the right time to end a two-week-plus scoring drought.
The second half of a do-or-die NWAC regional playoff saw Klarissa Baraja and Haley Wammock each score a goal for the Warriors, as they rallied to keep their season going after a 2-1 victory here at Lane Community College on Wednesday.
“We really found our identity in the second half,” Warriors coach Jordan Hacker said. “We were able to attack in two ways, it confused Lane’s back line a little, and we capitalized twice in the second half.”
Walla Walla (12-4-3 record) advances to play West Region champion Highline in quarterfinal at Starfire Stadium in Tukwila, Wash., on Saturday starting at noon.
The Warriors came here without a goal in their last three matches of the regular season, and faced a 1-0 deficit at halftime here after Lane had scored in the 29th minute.
Lane made that lead stand until midway through the second half.
“The (WWCC) women dominated the match,” Hacker said. “A minute stretch in the first half lead to a first half goal for Lane.
“The (WWCC) women opened the match with two quick chances to score and a corner that narrowly missed,” he continued. “Lane is a well-organized and great team.
“Their head coach (Erica Mertz) is one of the best coaches in the NWAC and always gets her team in a great position to win,” Hacker added. “For 64 minutes, it looked that way.”
Baraja ended the WWCC drought with an feed from Caitlin Crist in the 64th minute — the first Warrior goal since a 1-0 win at Treasure Valley on Oct. 13 — and Wammmock later scored unassisted to put the them on top about 10 minutes later.
“Freshman Caitlin Crist was apart of both goals in the second half,” Hacker said. “She assisted Klarissa Barajas and drew the PK that sophomore Haley Wammock converted to give the warriors the lead.
“The (WWCC) women showed a lot of grit today,” Hacker continued. “For the majority of the game, we were in control of the match. We gave Lane and opportunity to score, and they capitalized. The long travel and weather did not help us today, but we battled for 90 minutes and once again proved we can play with the best teams in the NWAC.”