McMINNVILLE, Ore. – After nine unsuccessful attempts at the goal, Linfield College finally broke through by scoring on a penalty kick with 10 minutes left in the first half, which started the Wildcats off to a 2-0 win over the George Fox University Bruins in Northwest Conference men’s soccer action here Saturday afternoon here at the Linfield Soccer Field.
Four of Linfield’s first nine shots were on target but were turned away by Bruin freshman goalkeeper Luis Angel Del Rio, making only his second college start. Finally, at the 35:48 mark, Jake Baker was fouled in the keeper’s box shortly after taking one of five first-half corner kicks by the Wildcats and received a free kick, which he sent past Del Rio to give the home team a 1-0 lead.
Three minutes into the second period, the Wildcats doubled their advantage with an impressive one-two combination between Harper Taylor and Domenico Del Prete. After receiving a pass from Del Prete, Taylor headed it back to the striker, who pushed a close-range shot past Del Rio to make the spread 2-0.
With a comfortable lead, Linfield went into a defensive mode that allowed the Bruins more shot attempts but few good ones. George Fox finished with 14 total shots, including three each by Luke Dickens and Luke Hammer, but only three were on goal, and Linfield keeper Grant Loriaux stopped them all to earn the shutout. Del Rio faced 26 total shots by the ‘Cats, 12 on goal, and made 10 saves to keep the Bruins in the game. Linfield also had nine corner kick tries to two for the Bruins.
The win enabled Linfield to even its record at 4-4 while improving to 2-3 in the conference. George Fox, still seeking that elusive first win for new head coach Luis Del Rio, fell to 0-9-1 overall and 0-5 in the NWC.
NEXT: George Fox visits Willamette University in Salem, Ore., while Linfield hosts Pacific University Sunday, both games conference contests starting at 2:30 p.m.