Wildcat soccer splits the Whits

Joe Stuart

Linfield’s men’s soccer team went .500 this weekend in Washington, losing on Saturday to the Whitworth Pirates but winning on Sunday against the Whitman Missionaries.

The Wildcats (9-10, 5-8) suffered a late game collapse against the conference leading Pirates (15-1-1, 11-1-1) on Saturday, losing 3-1.

Linfield was able to score first, coming off a goal by midfielder Michael Kleeman, ’18, at just under the 14th minute into the game. Whitworth answered right back when Tyler Cardinale scored four minutes later.

Whitworth’s defense shut down Linfield for the rest of the match, allowing only two more shots throughout the match. In contrast, Whitworth did not let up on offense, firing 37 shots.

Nine of those 37 shots were on goal, all saved by Linfield goalkeeper Jorge Rodriguez, ’17.

It looked like the match was set for extra time at the end, but in the 86th minute Whitworth’s Karl Muelheims scored off the assist from Sam Engle. Muelheims then scored again less than 30 seconds later, assisted by Jonah Snyder.

Muelheims leads the Northwest Conference with 19 goals on the season.

The Wildcats were able to turn their play around on Sunday against Whitman (3-12-2, 2-9-2), shutting out the Missionaries 2-0.

Both of Linfield’s goals came in the first half of play. In the 30th minute, forward Piikea Kailio, ’16, found the back of the net, assisted by Moi Diaz, ’18. It was Kailio’s first goal of the year and Diaz’s fourth assist.

Shortly after, in the 33rd minute, Diaz scored on an unassisted play. It was Diaz’s seventh goal of the season, putting him at fourth in conference.

Both Diaz and Kailo did not start and scored their goals only a few minutes within coming off the bench.

No more scoring happened throughout the rest of the game, as the ’Cats focused on defense, only taking two shots in second half.

They were able to lock down Whitman despite a barrage of shots. The Missionaries took 27 in the match in their attempt to catch up but couldn’t find the net on any of them.

Rodriguez made eight saves on Sunday’s match, putting him at second in the league with 66.

With only one match remaining on the season, the Wildcats will try to finish the season with a .500 overall record and fourth place in the conference standings.

Their final match is against Willamette University (5-11-2, 4-8-1) at home this coming Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 pm.