Men’s soccer falls to defending NWC champs Whitworth

Joe Stuart, For the Review

The men’s soccer team was not able to put the pieces together to get the win at home on Sunday, losing to the defending Northwest Conference champions Whitworth Pirates 2-0.

The Pirates were able to use their sheer athleticism to control the game, using their speed to hold possession of the ball for roughly 70 percent of the game. Linfield (5-3, 1-1) goalkeeper Jorge Rodriguez had his work cut out for him as Whitworth (6-0, 2-0) was able to use their speed to break through the Wildcats’ defense, taking 12 shots through the course of the game.

Both of Whitworth’s goals came in the first period of play, the first one from junior forward Rylan Berriman into the top right corner of the net.

The second came in short succession, just four minutes later, from senior forward Karl Muelheim off the assist from sophomore defender Aaron Yanagi.

Linfield was able to tighten up their defense in the second period, allowing no goals and cutting their opponent’s shot attempts in half.

Between the aggressiveness the Pirates were showing and the frustration from the Wildcats, it was a game littered with fouls and yellow cards.

Linfield drew 12 fouls, and Whitworth 17.

Eight yellow cards were pulled during the game, with five to Whitworth and three to Linfield.

At one point the referee issued three of Whitworth’s yellow cards within two minutes, one toward the Pirate’s bench.

Although the ‘Cats lost, there was a silver lining.

“If we were here two years ago and we were down 2-0, we probably would have let off three more goals in that second half,” midfielder Brian DeGrandmont ’17 said.

“But we’re a whole new team, we’ve got a different dynamic now. We really battled during that second half and I think that’s going to show during the season, and that’s definitely a positive. It didn’t show on the scoreboard, but we definitely had moral victory here today,” DeGrandmont said.