Men’s Soccer Loses to Whitworth, First Home Victory

Sara Levering, Sports Co-Editor

The Linfield Wildcats faced the number one in conference visiting Whitworth Pirates. The Wildcats played under the lights on the turf at Maxwell Field on Friday night after a schedule change, due to the soccer field being in poor condition.

Linfield and Whitworth were fairly even on shots throughout the game and Linfield seemed to maintain possession, but were neck and neck at halftime. The tides turned and Linfield continued to seize opportunities with quality looking shots, but could not get the ball into the net.

In the 67th minute, a Whitworth opponent scored unassisted on a free kick making the score 1-0.

Linfield had 10 shots on the game and Whitworth had 15. They were both tied in corner kick opportunities with three a piece.

On the day, goalkeeper Jorge Rodriguez, ‘17, had three saves on the day.

The Wildcats looked to bounce back on Sunday afternoon against visiting Whitman College. Both teams were scoreless after 90 minutes of playing and they proceeded to overtime. The overtime period did not last long however.

In the 93rd minute, Brian DeGrandmont, ‘17, took a penalty kick and it soared into the goal past the Whitman goalkeeper. This was DeGrandmont’s seventh goal of the season. This was also Linfield’s first home victory of the season.

Until that goal prevailed, Whitman and Linfield were fairly even in shots attempted, Whitman with 13 and Linfield with 10. However, Linfield outshot Whitman in the first half 7-5. Linfield’s 10 shots came from six different players.

Whitman and Linfield were tied up with three a piece on corner kicks. Goalkeeper Rodriguez had two saves on the day.

On both games, Lendio had some comments. “It was easier on our attack today, because Whitworth was so possession oriented. We had a lot of the ball today, so our offense was able to create a few decent scoring opportunities.”

With one last game remaining, “We just want to end the season with a win. It has been a turbulent season, but a win will justify how much quality our team possessed this year. Ending the season winning the last three of four matches will send us out proud,” Lendio said.

“Our defense played really well and was stout. They are the reason why we stay in the game for as long as we did. I am very proud of the team’s effort,” Lendio concluded.

Linfield held their senior day and saluted to their six graduating seniors. Notably, DeGrandmont, Rodriguez, Dylan Shepard, Joey Grachek, Wyatt Lay, and Rhys Lendio.

The Linfield Wildcats improve to 2-14-2 overall and 2-10-1 in the Northwest Conference. They play their last game in Salem, Oregon against the Willamette Bearcats at 1:30 pm.