Linfield Builds Early Lead, Holds on to Upset PLU
PARKLAND - Linfield College scored a pair of goals inside the first 26 minutes, then added an insurance tally in the first three minutes of the final period to upset Pacific Lutheran, 3-1, in a Northwest Conference men's soccer match played Sunday at East Field.
The Wildcats, who have suffered much at the hands of the Lutes in recent years - including a 3-0 home loss earlier this year after 4-0 and 8-0 defeats last year - basically put an end to PLU's hopes of repeating as conference champions. The Lutes (8-6-2 overall) are now 7-3-1 in the conference, good for 22 points, while league-leading Whitworth won today to improve to 9-0-2, for 29 points. Whitworth would have to lose all three of its remaining matches and the Lutes would have to win all of theirs to change the situation.
The Wildcats, who improved to 7-8-0 overall and 5-6-0 in the conference, got on the board in the 15th minute when Tyler Sedlacek scored his third goal of the year from right in front of the goal, knocking home a deflection from Domenico Del prete's shot.
Del prete scored the second goal in the 26th minute, and it was a well worked play. The sequence started with Danny Snelgrow receiving a pass down the left flank and beating his defender before crossing the ball on the ground to the far post, where Del prete ran onto it for his seventh goal of the season.
The Lutes were not without their chances, and in fact Linfield keeper Grant Loriaux had to make seven saves in the first period alone. Still, the intermission came with the 'Cats holding a 2-0 advantage.
Linfield made it 3-0 just 2:22 into the second half when Del prete looped a pass over the defense, allowing Tyler Repic to run onto it and chip it over sprawling PLU keeper Joe Rayburn and into the open net.
Despite carrying much of the play in the Linfield defensive end for the remainder of the match, Pacific Lutheran was unable to reply. In fact, its only tally came on an own goal when a Wildcats defender knocked the ball past Loriaux in an effort to clear out a cross.
PLU dominated the statistics, taking 23 shots, including 12 on goal, compared to just eight shots, five on goal, for Linfield. Loriaux was outstanding between the pipes for the 'Cats with a total of 11 saves. Rayburn finished with two saves for PLU.
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