McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Pacific Lutheran travelled to Linfield College Saturday yet to concede a goal to conference competition and left with that designation intact with a 3-0 win.
The Lutes peppered the Wildcat net, launching 24 attempts at goal over the course of the afternoon. Those efforts didn't pay off until the 26th minute, when a Derek Johnson cross across the penalty area was poked down by Jeff Piaquadio to the feet of Brenden Cohen, who slotted his third goal of the season past Linfield keeper Scott Goodman.
It only took 3:11 after getting off the mark for Piaquadio to score one of his own, floating unmarked to the far post before heading a Shane Gutierrez cross into the back of the net. The goal was the junior center back's first-ever in a PLU uniform. By his own admission, the feat came as a surprise. "Am I onside? Did this actually count? And it did, just like that," said Piaquadio.
The second half saw the Lutes continue their dominance, with Linfield failing to register a single shot. In the 86th minute, freshman Sean Rigney put the game beyond doubt, netting his first goal of the year off a through ball from Derek Johnson. Second-half 'keeper Grant Loriaux came off his line to meet Rigney whose composed finish found the top pocket of the Wildcat goal.
Joe Rayburn registered three saves in his third clean sheet of the season and the Lutes' defense did not concede any corners in the match.
Despite the one-sided statistics, head coach John Yorke expressed mixed feelings about his team's performance: "[In the first half] I didn't think we were very precise. I thought we were a little bit causal, a bit sloppy in our touches. Second half I thought we were a lot better. That was a little more how we wanted to be."
With Piaquadio and Rigney making their debuts on the score sheet, the Lutes now have seven different goal scorers through nine games. "It's a different guy each game. I'm happy with the way we're finding goals. That's what we need to do to win games," said Yorke.
PLU improved to 4-3-1 overall and 3-0 (9 pts.) in the Northwest Conference, even with Whitworth and Puget Sound at the top of the table. Sunday, September 23rd, the Lutes complete their first conference road trip of the season at Willamette. The match will kick off at 2:30 pm with a live broadcast on GoLutes.com
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