Wildcats falter against Bearcat defense

Grant Lucas – Sports Editor. After a victory over Warner Pacific College on Sept. 13, the Linfield women’s soccer squad fell to Northwest Conference foe Willamette University on Sept. 16.
With the loss, the Wildcats slid to a 3-2 overall record and 0-1 in conference play while the Bearcats improved to 2-2-1 and 1-0 in NWC play.
“We all try to maintain a positive, upbeat attitude during practices and games,” junior MacKenzie Doty said. “I think we all possess different leadership qualities that make us a successful team.”
Juniors Sara Blake and Brittany Willis each tallied a goal in a 4-1 win over the Warner Pacific Knights at Portland Christian High School.
Linfield didn’t waste any time, striking first and scoring twice in the first 10 minutes.
Blake scored in the fourth minute off an assist from Willis. Four minutes later, Blake drilled a corner kick to junior Rachel Miles, who found the back of the net from 15 yards out.
Willis increased the lead to three when she scored in the 30th minute off an assist from Doty. The win was sealed with a second-half goal by freshman Anna Sours.
Conference play for the Wildcats began on Sept. 16 with a visit to Willamette.
The Bearcats’ defense rendered Linfield scoreless throughout the game, and, with two unassisted goals, Willamette recorded its first conference victory of the season.
Willamette came out of the locker room strong with a goal in the 22nd minute. Sophomore Stephanie Skelly stole the ball at midfield, drove downfield and drilled a 20-yard shot for the initial lead.
Bearcat freshman Andrea Rowan provided additional insurance with a goal in the 74th minute.
Linfield couldn’t create scoring opportunities throughout the game, posting a mere two shots on goal.
Although junior goalkeeper Kelsey Hasselblad provided seven saves, Willamette pulled off the win.
The Wildcats continue NWC play Sept. 20, with a home game against Pacific Lutheran University at noon.
“The atmosphere remains positive and encouraging,” Doty said. “We will have to continue to grow and learn from one another while we take steps forward to being successful.”

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