Men’s Soccer Battles, Falls to Bearcats

Sara Levering, Staff Writer

The Linfield Wildcats have been struggling this season and there were high hopes of changing the tides. Unfortunately, a second-half penalty kick handed Linfield it’s sixth Northwest Conference loss on the season.

Willamette’s Alan Hernandez scored both goals on the day, the first in the 21st minute making the score 1-0.

Linfield had some great scoring opportunities. Right before halftime, Brian DeGrandmont, ’17, scored his third goal on the season and his 22nd of his career making the score tied at 1-1.

Going back and forth in the second half, a penalty kick ensued by Willamette, making the score 2-1 in Willamette’s favor.

Rhys Lendio, ’17, had a beautiful shot that looked like it was headed into the goal, but a fingertip save by the Willamette goalkeeper denied the goal.

The ’Cats’ last shot was by Dylan Leathers, ’17, who shot from 18 yards out, but it went wide.

Linfield had a 14-10 shot advantage on the day. Goalkeeper Jorge Rodriguez registered one save on the day.

On the game, “We played really well today, but couldn’t manage a result. This, along with the past weekend, have been great because we have outshot our opponents, so losing doesn’t justify the effort our guys have put out the last two matches,” Lendio said.

Wyatt Lay, ’17, echoed Lendio, “The game went really well and we were unlucky to not have gotten a result considering we created so many chances to score. Conceding the penalty kick in the second half was unfortunate and the team was unable to level the score after that.”

On looking forward, “We just want to gain as many points as possible. We dropped a few in the first half of the season that we shouldn’t have, so getting a few wins and making it interesting at the top of the table will be our upcoming challenge,” Lendio continued.

Lendio is hopeful for the remainder of the season that things will start swinging their way.

Lay continued, “We hope to have a strong week of training, as well as getting some injured players back into the game. Some goals we have as a team are to complete a game with a clean shutout and play back-to-back games without dropping points.”

Linfield is last place in Northwest Conference standings at 0-6-1. Next up, they look to bounce back in Tacoma to face the Puget Sound Loggers on Saturday. Then on Sunday, they go up against Pacific Lutheran. Kickoff for both is scheduled for 2:30.