Wildcats score in exciting senior day, fall short


John Christensen

Austin Bebee ’18, jukes around an opposing player for possession of the ball in the 2nd half of the match versus Willamette on November 4th.

Gabriel Nair, Staff Writer

The Linfield Wildcats played their last game of the season at home against the Willamette Bearcats, this past Saturday. Overall, the Wildcats played extremely well with only a few slip-ups, but unfortunately fell to the Bearcats 1-2. This was also the senior game, where head coach Adam Howard started mostly seniors.

The seniors that started were: Eli Peckham in goal, Captains Dylan Shepherd and Isaac Archer as well as Chris Palmer in defense, Austin Bebee in the Midfield and Tony Quesnell up top at forward.

The Wildcats were scored on by Bearcat Mack van der Velde off a corner kick in the 14th minute. But despite the early goal, the Wildcats were able to keep the Bearcats from scoring on them for the rest of the half, though there were many close calls.

Sadly, things took a turn for the worse in the second half. In the 55th minute, the Bearcats scored another goal courtesy of Bearcat Max Berner-Hays by a header to the back post.

However, when it seemed like Linfield would go scoreless again. Freshman Luke Marks, proved there still might be a chance to win with a left foot strike off of a free kick delivered by Palmer.

But that chance was destroyed when the referee handed Shepherd a red card in the 85th minute. The red card was completely unwarranted because all that could be seen before the card was issued was Shepherd talking to the referee regarding a previous foul.

In this game, the refereeing had a profound impact on the scoring chances Linfield had. In both the first and second half, there was a few times when the referee should have called a penalty or a free kick, but made the decision to let the play go on.

In addition to the inconsistent call making, the head referee allowed Bearcats to repeatedly dribble all the way into the box, despite the line referee calling it offsides.

The Wildcats continued to pressure the Bearcats but were unable to score in the dying minutes of the game.

Although Linfield may have lost this was one of the better games they have played. Peckham, in particular had one of the best games of his Linfield career. He had an 80% save rate, his highest rate in an conference game this season.

“I think overall we played well in the last game. Of course we would have liked to go out with a win, but the game was probably the most fun I’ve ever had playing soccer,” Peckham said after the game.

“The seniors played hard and everyone else matched our intensity, so I’m proud of the way we ended the season. It’s bittersweet because it’s the end of our competitive soccer careers which is tough, but at the same time my body needs time to rest and recover,” Peckham said in regards to having played his last game as a Linfield Wildcat.

“I gave all my legs could give in my final game, but I regret not being able to do more. Again, the result hurts; more than the previous results as it was my last, significant game. But the game was a fun fight,” Bebee said. “I loved the team and battling through each game with them was a pleasure. I’ll miss them and Linfield soccer a lot.”

The Wildcats final overall record is 2-15-1 and their final conference record is 0-13-1.

“This season didn’t go as well as we had hoped it would go, but it humbled us and now we all know what it takes and are ready to work towards next season so we can hopefully win a conference title,” sophomore Henry Rosenfeld said as he looks toward next season.