Men’s soccer finishes pre-season play, prepares for first conference game

Kaelia Neal, Sports editor

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Despite a valient effort, the Linfield men’s soccer team lost at home to Northwest Christian University in over time on Saturday, Sept. 12.

After a four-game winning streak, the ‘Cats first lost to Concordia in Portland 1-3 on Sept. 11 and then to Northwest University on Sept 12.

“It was unfortunate to lose the two games at the end but I think we can learn a lot from those losses,” junior Wyatt Lay said.

Both Linfield and Northwest played aggressively, but the first half of the game was goalless.

At the start of the second half, Linfield received a foul and Northwest successfully made the penalty kick to earn the first goal of the game. Later in the second half, junior Dylan Leathers scored the team’s first goal with an assist from senior Alexander Gosselin-Bockel.

The game was tied 1-1.

At the end of the period, the game still sat at 1-1, which led to over time.

With only seconds remaining in over time, the Eagles managed to score one more goal to win the game.

“It was a successful pre-season despite being quite rigorous. From what I can tell, we have much more depth in our roster than in years past,” Lay said.

“The team battled this pre-season,” junior Brian DeGrandmont said. “Six games in a span of 12 days is a lot, but we managed to come out of the pre-season with a 4-2 record.”

The ‘Cats continue to prepare for what looks to be a successful season against conference teams.

“We just need to keep getting better as a unit and mentally preparing for conference this year. [We need to] go into every game with the belief that we will come out victorious.”

DeGrandmont said the team needs to “play each and every game as a strong group” and once that happens, “the winning should take care of itself.”

“Team fitness will be crucial as conference play begins. We need to keep as many players as possible healthy as the season progresses,” Lay said.

“I believe we have the capability to be amongst the top three teams in the league. It will take tremendous effort but our team is looking cohesive considering how many returning players we have, along with a solid group of freshmen that will be key contributors,” Lay said.

Next up, the ‘Cats play Whitman, who is ranked seventh according to the 2015 NWC Men’s Soccer Pre-Sea- son Coaches’ Poll. The game kicks off at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 19 at Linfield.