’Cats double OT with Bruins, draw with Boxers

Emma Knudson, Staff writer

Similar to games past, the Wildcat women’s soccer team prevailed after dueling the George Fox Bruins in double overtime on Saturday, which was also senior day, at the Linfield soccer field. On Sunday, the ’Cats battled with the Pacific Boxers in double overtime, ending with zeroes across the board at Hanson Stadium in For- est Grove.

Linfield was able to get on the board first with 30 seconds to spare in the first half in Saturday’s game. Freshman Kristen Burke was able to follow through after a shot by sophomore Carol Thomas that rebounded off the goalkeeper’s hands. Unfortunately, George Fox was able to match the score late in the second half.

The game-winning goal was made three minutes into the second over- time session, golden ball, by sophomore Sydney Kuehn, assisted by freshman Michayla Sponsel. The en- tire team rushed the field in celebratory fashion.

“I thought that we played really well as a team and fought to the very end,” sophomore Taylor Cole said of the win over the Bruins. “This group of girls is so inspiring and always work so hard.”

The game not only marked the last home game for the ’Cats, but also commemorated the seniors: Shelby DeRocher, Colette Sims, Emily Schump, and Kyla Alvarenga. Team- mates, parents and coaches all honored them.

However, it hasn’t been easy for the seniors this year, as they have not received as much playing time as they anticipated.

“I think the transition from sophomore year to junior year, you think you are going to get more playing time, but that’s not always or necessarily the case,” Alvarenga said, “so it’s

like learning your role on the team to still feel like you’re valued and an important part of the team, even though you’re not out there Saturdays and Sundays playing with your teammates and trying to get a win for the team.”

All four seniors started the game even Sims, who has a broken wrist, and Schump, who has a cast on her arm.

At kick off, none of the players moved from their spots as Alvarenga passed the ball back to Sims who then kicked it to a Bruins forward to take it out of bounds. The stands and play- er benches went up in cheers as Sims walked off the field.

Before the game, Sims said that she didn’t know what she would be able to do in the game with her wrist but knew that she wanted to do something.

Once the Wildcats threw the ball in, the action had commenced.

Schump was subbed out about eight minutes into the half and again the stands sent a cheer out. Neither of the seniors played in the second half, except a brief reappearance in the first round of overtime.

Despite this, Cole noted how it was “great to honor [the seniors] with an overtime win,” and said of her team- mates, “We are so blessed to have them as leaders, teammates, and big sisters to look up to. Each of them is a motivated, passionate and wonderful humans.”

On Sunday, the ’Cats returned to business against the Boxers, fighting to the end of the double-overtime draw with no scores across the board.

Linfield exceeded Pacific in shots on goal, with one shot by Kuehn coming close to meeting the net with a few minutes left in the second period. Linfield also exceeded Pacific in possession. The number of shots on goal was close and consistent in the second overtime session, highlighting their determination to end the game with another long-fought win.

The Wildcats are set to travel to Spokane, Wash. in a duel against Whitworth on Saturday, followed by a match against the Whitman Blues in Walla Walla, Wash. on Sunday to wrap up their season.