PARKLAND - Pacific Lutheran opened defense of its Northwest Conference men's soccer championship on Saturday with a 5-0 victory over the visiting George Fox Bruins on East Field.
Playing on their new artificial turf field for the first time after playing five games on the road, the Lutes improved to 2-3-1 overall and 1-0-0 in the conference. George Fox is now 0-5-1 overall and 0-1-0.
After starting slowly, the Lutes scored four goals over a period of 18 1/2 minutes in the middle of the first half. Brenden Cohen scored the game's first goal and his first of the season at 18:57, blasting a shot from 18 yards on the right and into the far side netting. The assist went to Derek Johnson.
Johnson got the next goal, his third this season, following up his own blocked shot and knocking the ball into the empty net at the 25:16 mark.
Just 11 seconds later the Lutes had their third goal when Emmanuel Amarh took a pass from Johnson and scored past George Fox keeper Elliott Davis, who was suddenly under siege by the PLU offense. The goal was Amarh's third of the season, and he added his fourth at 31:32, finishing off Tyler Bennett's pass from the right wing.
The game's final goal came at 54:22 when Giancarlo Santoro notched his second goal of the season from about six yards out. After that, PLU head coach John Yorke emptied his bench with a total of 27 different Lutes seeing action.
The shot totals were close with PLU holding a 19-15 advantage, and the Lutes also enjoyed an 8-7 lead in shots in goal. A trio of PLU keepers were up to the task against the Bruins, combining on a shutout. Joe Rayburn made two saves and picked up the victory while playing all of the first half. Mike Arguello and Sam Watkins shared time in the second half, Arguello finishing with one save and Watkins getting four in the final 19:25 of the contest.
Corner kicks were also close, the Lutes owning a 7-6 margin.
PLU returns to conference action at 2:30 p.m. Sunday when it hosts Pacific on East Field.
- PLU -