Winning streak over, ends for No. 4 ’Cats
Men’s soccer defeated George Fox University on Oct. 16, but the team’s three-game winning streak was snapped after a tough loss to Pacific University on Oct. 17.
Senior midfielder Michel Camacho scored Linfield’s lone goal in the 1-0 win against George Fox. The ’Cats shut out the Bruins, not allowing a single goal in 90 minutes of play.
The ’Cats took the lead in the first half following Camacho’s score. Senior midfielder Kevin Donato set up the goal with his fifth assist of the season.
Donato and Camacho lead the team in assists and goals, respectively, for the season.
Linfield outshot George Fox 22-13. The Bruins hold an 0-8 conference record following the loss, and an 0-10-1 record overall.
The ’Cats moved on to Pacific, losing the game 0-4. It was the second time the Boxers held the ’Cats scoreless this season.
Pacific held a large advantage in shot attempts, finishing the game with 19 compared with Linfield’s two.
Senior Boxer defender Avery Neal scored a goal late in the first half. Junior midfielder Patrick Murray scored shortly after to give Pacific a 2-0 lead.
The ’Cats were outshot 11-1 in the first half.
Linfield continued to struggle in the second half, managing only a single shot to Pacific’s eight attempts. Senior midfielder Colin Bebee attempted Linfield’s only shot on the goal.
Senior Boxer midfielder Kizamu Tsutakawa put the game out of reach with two goals in the second half. Tsutakawa leads the Boxers with seven goals this season.
Pacific is now 11-1-2 overall and hold a 7-1-1 conference record.
Despite another tough loss to Pacific, sophomore forward Danny Snelgrow remains confident in the team’s abilities.
“I feel our team can match up very well with the tougher teams if we play focused and on key,” he said. “I don’t want to take any credit away from Pacific and their defense, but we definitely weren’t in sync.”
Snelgrow also stressed the importance of execution.
“Our mental preparation needs to be a little better, but a lot of it is just trusting our teammates,” he said. “When we start getting on our teammates about making mistakes, they make more mistakes, so we need to just let it go and play.”
Head coach Ian Lefebvre said that missing players decreased the team’s offensive abilities against Pacific.
“We were missing two guys: Danny [Snelgrow] and Michel [Camacho]. We had to make an adjustment and pull Colin Bebee into the back line,” he said. “So we had two guys up front who hadn’t put much time in up front, and that kind of took away our offensive firepower with our two leading goal
scorers on the bench.”
Next up for the ’Cats is a meeting with Pacific Lutheran University on Oct. 23. The Lutes hold a 7-6-1 overall record and a 6-3 conference record.
The ’Cats are 6-6-1 this season with a 5-4 conference record. The match will present the ’Cats with a chance to tie Pacific Lutheran’s conference record.
Linfield is currently fourth in conference standings, but a win on Oct. 23 would tie them with Pacific Lutheran for second.
The ’Cats play the University of Puget Sound on Oct. 24. The teams last met Sept. 18, when the ’Cats were defeated 2-1 in Tacoma, Wash.
Snelgrow said the coming game is important to the team.
“It’s going to be a big game for us, and if we can come out with the ‘W,’ it’s going to help us out a lot more,” he said. “We just need to play focused and together.”
Lefebvre agreed with Snelgrow, saying he’s looking for a strong finish to the season.
“I hope to finish it on a positive note. I feel like we still have a chance to finish in the top three. That’s where I would like to finish, and we have the ability,” he said. “It’s going to take a lot of hard work and strong leadership toward the end of the season.”
Kickoff for both Oct. 23 and 24 is at 2:30 p.m. at home.
Matt Bayley/Staff reporter
Matt Bayley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.