Lutes Pick Up Huge Win Over Pacific
PARKLAND - Pacific Lutheran moved ahead of Pacific and into second place in the Northwest Conference men's soccer standings with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over the visiting Boxers on Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, the Lutes improve their overall record to 12-5-0 and their conference mark to 9-3-0. The Boxers slip to 12-3-2 overall and 8-2-2 in the conference. PLU has 27 points in the conference standings, one more than the Boxers' total. Whitworth leads the league with 29 points on a 9-1-2 record.
The Lutes looked to have scored in the first half but a foul was called on a corner kick that Spencer Augustin flicked into the net.
After a scoreless first half, PLU senior midfielder Jason Bjorgo scored a pair of goals within a nine-minute time frame to put his team on top, 2-0. The first goal came at 53:54 when Bjorgo took a cross from Surafel Wodajo, took a dribble near the top of the 18-yard box, and beat Pacific goalkeeper Andrew Stevermer with a shot to the lower left corner.
Bjorgo scored his second goal of the game and his fourth of the season at 62:35 with Wodajo again getting the assist. Bjorgo beat a defender to Wodajo's cross from the right wing and glanced a header that slipped through Stevermer's fingers and into the goal.
The visiting Boxers, who up until that point had managed just three shots in the match, started to mount some pressure on the Lutes. Pacific's goal came at 68:42 but was not one that they scored themselves. Travis Birrell beat a PLU defender to the end line and then sent a cross past PLU keeper Brian Kostol, who charged out along the end line to challenge Birrell. PLU defender Brennen Hall tried to clear the ball, but instead knocked it into his own goal.
Pacific had a couple more shots late in the match, but the Lutes were able to hang on for the win.
PLU took 14 total shots to seven for the Boxers, and the Lutes also enjoyed a 9-6 advantage in corner kicks. Stevermer, who had allowed only five goals all season, was credited with five saves in the match compared to two for Kostol.
Both teams return to conference action on Sunday, the Lutes hosting George Fox University at the Washington Premier field on River Road in Puyallup, and Pacific playing the Puget Sound Loggers at Baker Stadium.
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