Review staff writer
The men’s soccer team concluded its final game of the season against Pacific Lutheran University on
Nov. 7 with a loss of 5-1, finishing the season with a 9-10 overall record and 5-8 in Northwest Conference play.
The ’Cats defeat by the Lutes began within the first half of the game. Junior defender Derek MacLean began the eventual scoring streak for the Lutes in the 11th minute. A mere 10 minutes later, senior forward Derek Karamatic, assisted by senior midfielder Andy Hyres, scored another goal for PLU.
In the 36th minute, Karamatic led PLU to its third goal with a penalty kick after Linfield handled the ball in the box.
Much to the dismay of ’Cats fans, PLU junior midfielder Daniele Zaccagnini shot another goal from 15 yards to raise the advantage to 4-0.
For the final score of the match, Karamatic earned a hat trick with his third goal in the 47th minute. His three goals and one assist were pivotal in PLU’s victory against Linfield.
Continuing to fight despite tough odds, senior defender Spencer Winter managed to provide a long ball to junior forward Kurtis Wong to shoot the final and only goal for the ’Cats. Unfortunately, the effort was too late.
PLU managed to get 20 shots off, muscling its way toward the net and holding Linfield to 12 shots.
The loss summed up a season in which the ’Cats struggled to play more than a few games with all of their cylinders running without problem. A number of issues plagued the team, from lack of ball possession to not being able to finish open shots.
With a team-high nine goals and four assists for the year, Wong was one of the most stable parts of the team’s performance.
Freshman striker Kyle Wallace was a surprisingly consistent offensive threat, but his passionate play often led to yellow cards from the referees. Wallace scored six goals this season, and he is expected to play a larger role for the program in the years to come.
Goalkeepers sophomore Jon Thompson and junior Joe Locasio managed to keep most games close, with goals allowed averages of just 1.15 and 1.35 per game, respectively.
Head coach Ian Lefebvre now has a two-year record of 18-18-1 at the helm for the ’Cats.
Linfield finished in sixth in the eight-team NWC, placing in front of Willamette and George Fox universities.