BLUFFTON, Ohio – Junior All-Ohio Athletic Conference and Academic All-OAC standout forward Rachel Bender (Massillon/Jackson) scored a career-high four goals as the Baldwin Wallace University women's soccer team shut out Bluffton University 5-0.
Bender did not waste any time in getting the Yellow Jackets (4-3) on the board, scoring her third goal of the year in just the first minute of the game and giving senior All-OAC forward Courtney Schutz (Mentor) her third assist of the season.
The rest of the first half was uneventful despite a flurry of shots from both teams. Bluffton took four of its six shots on the afternoon, all within a 10 minute span, while BW fired off 16 shots in the first half.
Coming out of the locker room with a 1-0 lead, the Yellow Jackets displayed a lot more energy and put the Beavers under pressure. Bender gave her team a two-goal advantage as she found the back of the net for the second time in the game in the 60th minute off an assist from senior defender Kori Miller (North Olmsted/Holy Name), her first of the season.
Determined to record her third career hat trick, Bender netted her third goal of the game in the 71st minute off an assist from freshman midfielder Kenna Stones (Dresden/Tri-Valley), marking the freshman's second assist in as many games.
The junior's career afternoon was capped off in the 74th minute when Bender put herself in a good position scored her fourth goal unassisted despite a defender getting in her way and deflecting the ball.
Junior forward Bess Massad (Bay Village/Magnificat) joined in the scoring with her first career goal in the 84th minute off an assist from sophomore midfielder Kenna Poptic (Dublin/Jerome), marking her first assist of the season.
BW took a season-high 34 shots, 18 of them on goal, while sophomore goalkeeper Sophia Weidner (Medina) made one save in the only shot on goal that she faced, earning her fourth career shutout and her first of the season.
With the strong offensive showing by the Yellow Jackets, Head Coach Jim Wojtkun was able to get every healthy player on the field, getting his younger players some valuable in-game experience with conference play looming at the end of the month.
The Yellow Jackets will hit the road once again when they travel down to Hiram to take on the Hiram College Terriers on Tuesday, September 19, at 7:30 p.m.