Daily Archives: September 26, 2011

Wildcats skin La Verne Leopards

After a difficult season-opening game against a ranked opponent and with a conference showdown with Willamette University looming on Oct. 1, what the No. 06-ranked Linfield football program needed most was a chance to get into rhythm against an opponent that probably wasn’t going to pose a serious threat. The ’Cats got that and more in a runaway 52-3 blowout victory over the University of La Verne Leopards on Sept. 24.

“They’ve got some good players,” head Coach Joseph Smith said. “But they’re a young program that’s developing and not ready to execute at the level necessary to compete with a top-10 team.”

The Wildcat defense limited La Verne to 312 yards, only 85 of them on the ground, and kept them out of the end zone for the entire contest while piling up six sacks. When it mattered most in late down situations, the ’Cats were particularly ferocious, stuffing the Leopards on four of five fourth-down conversion attempts.

“They have some pretty athletic receivers,” senior cornerback Nate Dixon. “We keyed in on them and pretty much got the job done.”

Meanwhile, junior quarterback Mickey Inns completed 18 of 27 passes for 210 yards and three touchdowns, all career highs, in just less than three quarters of play. Junior receiver Deidre Wiersma was his top target and nabbed seven passes for 102 yards and a score.

“We had a big cushion outside and took advantage of that,” Wiersma said. “We wanted to spread it out.”

Senior tight end Bryan Anderson started the scoring barrage on a one-yard touchdown run early in the first quarter. A 34-yard boot by junior kicker Josh Kay boosted the Linfield margin to 10-0, and Inns added scoring strikes of 19 and two yards in the second quarter to sophomore Charlie Poppen and senior Erik Koczian, respectively, to make a formidable 24-0 halftime margin. The ’Cats finished the day with 162 rush yards, 47 of them from top tailback junior Josh Hill.

Meanwhile, the defense put together a goal-line stand on fourth down from the Linfield 3-yard line that gave the offense yet another chance to score. La Verne couldn’t crack the Linfield defense Inns and the offense needed little time to put points on the board.

“Mickey played an amazing game,” Hill said. “That makes it easy for the run game when he plays like that.”

Senior tailback Stephen Nasca started the second half with a 61-yard kickoff return that nearly went the distance for a score. 12 seconds later, Inns fired a short pass to Wiersma and ballooned Linfield’s advantage to 31-0. After Nasca bulled into the end zone from one yard out later in the quarter, Inns and the Wildcat starters left the game and gave way to the second and third strings.

“We wanted to come out throwing,” Smith said. “Obviously you want a balance in your run and pass games too, but that was the game plan today.”

Leopard kicker Alex Miller scored La Verne’s only three points on a 34-yard field goal that was nearly blocked. Backup sophomore quarterback Josh Yoder made the most of this lone quarter of play by launching two deep touchdown passes of 29 and 30 yards to junior college transfer receiver Lucas Lepson and freshman Evan Peterson, setting the final margin of victory at 52-3. Despite the blowout victory, Smith identified a few areas of concern that must be addressed before opening Northwest Conference play against Willamette in Salem, Ore., on Oct. 1.

“We need to tackle better,” Smith said. “We also want to keep working on protecting our quarterback. But we’re at about 85 percent right now.”

Chris Forrer/Sports columnist

Chris Forrer can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Golf faces highs and lows

Both the men and women’s golf teams were busy this weekend. The two teams competed at Quail Valley golf course in Banks, Ore.,  on Sept. 24 and 25 for the Pacific Invitational.

On the first day of the competition, the Linfield ladies placed fifth with 343 strokes total, which was 55 strokes above par. The team was only 27 strokes behind George Fox University, the winners of the day. Sophomore Alexandria Smith tied for seventh place, with George Fox freshman Whitney Jammerman, Willamette University freshman Nicole Smith and Whitman College sophomore Elaine Whaley.  Alexandria Smith ended the first day with eighty strokes, only eight above par. Sophomore Hannah Christianson was only four strokes behind Alexandria Smith, and she was placed eighteenth.

The men’s team led the way for the rest of the teams at the Pacific invitational on the first day. Sophomore A.J. Taylor finished the day with 69 strokes, earning him third place. Following right behind Taylor, senior Alex Fitch tied for fourth with two other golfers. Freshman Ryan Nolan eagled the 10th hole. The Wildcats beat Willamette out of first place by two strokes, and the team finished with as score of 283, putting the team five under par.

On the second day of the Pacific Invitational, the men’s team had four golfers in the top 10. Moving up to first place, Finch beat the rest with a score of 70. Following not too far behind him was Taylor, who finished 10 strokes behind Fitch in the overall.  As a team, the men came out with a combined 591, only 15 above par.

In the two competitions that the men’s team has participated in, they have taken first in both.

On day two of the competition, the women’s team finished with 337 strokes, earning them fourth place. The women’s top competitor was Christianson, who came in 12th place with 84 strokes. The entire team finished within 14 strokes of each other on the second day. The women’s team’s overall score for the whole invitational, was 680 strokes, which was 104 strokes above par. There were some major improvements during this competition for the women. One in particular was junior Brinn Hovde, who took eight strokes off her score the second day.

“Our team is looking strong this year. We are definitely starting out a higher level than we did last year so that is exciting for us to see,” Hovde said.

Some challenges the women’s team faces are the other teams they compete against Hovde mentioned in an email, “it is challenging because the teams in our conference have so much depth that we are competing against not one, but multiple other teams that are strong competitors throughout the season. We have what it takes so I’m excited for us to put it to work.”

The two teams have high hopes for the season.

Both team tees off Oct. 1 and 2, where the women’s team will be at the Whitman Invitational at the Wine Valley Golf Club and the men’s team compete at Spokane Country Club.
___________________________________________________________________Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

’Cats struggle against Bruins and Bearcats

Sophomore Emily Allison kicks the ball up field, away from the Wildcat goal on Sept. 25 at home. Joel Ray/ Photo editor

The Linfield Wildcats women’s soccer team went up against the George Fox University Bruins on Sept. 24 in a game that resulted in a tie with each team only scoring one point.

Linfield played aggressively, shooting several shots at the goal, most of which were saved by George Fox goalie Alyssa Montero. George Fox only got one shot at the goal during the first half, which was saved by Wildcat freshman Taylor Collinsworth. The first half ended with
neither team scoring a single goal. During the first half, Wildcats had 13 shots on goal, in comparison to George Fox’s one shot on goal.

Most of the second half played out similar to the first half. The Wildcats attempted to score a goal many times, but no goal was scored until the bottom of the game. The defense continuously worked at keeping the Bruins at bay, where they helped stop six shots on goal.

“They work hard,” said Dominic Doty, head coach for the Linfield women’s soccer team. “Their effort level is where we want it.”

With 83:25 to go, freshman Zoe Langsdorf scored the first goal of game with assists by senior Jenna Quiring and junior Anna Sours.

A minute after this goal was scored, Collingsworth got a yellow card after a collision with George Fox’s Shannon Olson. Olson had to leave the game because of an arm injury. In Olson’s place, Melanie Gaither shot the penalty kick for George Fox, scoring
the Bruins’ first goal and tying the game.

“We just couldn’t finish our chances,” said sophomore Sara Miller, a midfielder for the Wildcats.

On Sunday, the Wildcats played against the Willamette Bearcats on their home turf, losing one to three. Just like the game on Saturday, no points were scored until the second half of the game, although there were several attempts by both teams.

The second half of the game began aggressively, with the Wildcats committing one foul and the Bearcats committing three. Bearcat Stephanie Skelly scored the first goal 67 minutes into the game,
giving Willamette a one point advantage. Only a couple of minutes later, Sarah Desautels scored
another point for the Bearcats.

“We weren’t playing as a team. Normally we’re so connected,” Miller said.

However, the Wildcats didn’t give up.
Senior MacKenzie Doty scored a goal for Linfield only a few minutes after the Bearcats scored their second goal. MacKenzie Doty was given an almost
clear shot on goal, where it went in with a hard kick.  Even with the 19 shots
on goal, the Wildcats could not out score the Bearcats.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, Skelly scored another goal for the Bearcats with an assist from Desautels with only six
minutes left in the game.

The Wildcats fought to the  end, shooting four more attempts at the goal before the time finally ran out. These shots included Sophomore Emily Allison taking a shot in the final
50 seconds, and the ball went wide of the goal.

Sophomore goalkeeper Apolonia made three saves, and the Bearcats had nine shots on goal during her 90 minutes in goal.

“We created a lot of opportunities, but we couldn’t put the ball in the net,” Doty said. “This was a big learning weekend.”

With the Wildcats the lose against Willamette and their tie against George Fox,  the women’s team record stands at five wins and two losses and one tie.

On October 1, Linfield plays against Whitman at home. Kick off is at noon. Their goal for this game is simple.
When asked, both
Miller and Doty had
the same response, “to win.”

Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.

Sophomore Emily Allison kicks the ball up field, away from the Wildcat goal on Sept. 25 at home.

Meghan O’Rourke/
Opinion editor
Meghan O’Rourke can be reached at linfieldreviewopinion@gmail.com.


Cross country rocks the Linfield Preview

Both the men’s and women’s cross country teams placed first in the Linfield Preview meet in Willamette Mission State Park on Sept. 25.

The Wildcats raced against four teams in the Northwest Conference, including Pacific University, Pacific Lutheran University, Willamette University and George
Fox University.

Senior Nelly Evens led the women’s team, bursting past the finish line second overall with a time of 22:98. Freshman Madison Towbridge followed 22 seconds later, coming in third place and making her fastest time of the season. Three other ‘Cats  placed in the top 10, making Linfield the overall winners of the race.

Junior Emily Zegar contributed the win to a good support system with the team.

“We work well together within our team,” Zegar said. “It helps that we have strong women and men racers, but it’s also a lot about how individual runners push and pull each other during races. That inner pushing and pulling encourages us and drives us to be more competitive and faster.”

The men’s team also took first place in their course, with senior Arian Anderson, sophomore Joe Gladow, senior Scott Gage, placing second, third and fourth, respectively.

Seniors Alex Van Slyke and Eric Weinbender and freshman Calvin Howell also pushed to take top 10 finish places, helping the ‘Cats steal the overall win.

The conference race will also be held at Willamette Mission State Park, which gave the ’Cats experience and confidence for conference, Anderson said.

“Other than just getting to race on the course itself, it was good to race against other teams who will be at conference,” he said. “Both the men and women’s team want to be the best at conference.”

Zagar also said the experience was valuable.

“Racing at the same course that we’ll race at during conference was a mental confidence boost and an experience builder,” she said. “We’re excited for what’s to come.”

The Wildcats will compete at the Willamette Open race on Oct. 1 at 9 a.m at Bush Park in Salem.

Joanna Peterson/
Copy Manager
Joanna Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewmanaging@gmail.com.

Greek support sends the wrong message

Hey ’Cats. I don’t know if you noticed, but there was a clear disparity between the season-opening game on Sept. 10 and last weekend’s contest at Maxwell Field, and I’m not talking about the final margin. While it’s always nice to watch the Wildcats pound the stuffing out of a helpless opponent, I couldn’t help but draw my eyes to the sleepy student section. Only two weeks ago the end zone gate was loaded with screaming students who yelled until they were hoarse. It’s been 14 days…where did these fans go?

It occurred to me the other night after a short conversation with a frustrated fan that opening weekend was the kickoff for sorority recruitment. Before I say anything further, understand that I’m not one of those gloom-and-doom naysayers who think that the men and women affiliated with a Greek organization are vacuous, party-hard idiots. Some of my best friends on earth are Greek, and on the whole, I think the system does a lot of good for a lot of people.

With that said, I can’t help but think that most of the Greek sisters who so
fervently gave their support on Sept. 10 but were noticeably absent on Sept. 24 were probably only interested in recruiting for their respective sororities.

I can recall at the Cal Lutheran game hearing young women in the student section talking about how to get the freshmen girls to begin cheering and then inform them about their sorority when they saw how fun it could be.

Last weekend, there were no cheers and there was no support. Sure, some of those sisters probably are interested in football and some were probably there for the La Verne game; but on the whole, Greek
life was a non-factor.

What kind of message do you think you’re sending? That you should only support your school’s sports organizations when you stand to gain something from it? I don’t think that’s what Greek Life intended to indicate, but that’s how it looked to me. If you’re really all about Linfield sports, you go during recruitment and after. Otherwise, all those freshmen girls that you won over to your organization might catch wise that the enthusiasm you showed was just to put butts in seats at your weekly meetings.

Recruiting tactics on the whole must have been effective, because every Greek sister I know was ecstatic after bid day. That is fantastic, and those girls are going to love their new sisters. But I would like to challenge Greek life to step up and continue to show their young members what Linfield is all about at the next home game. With that many people and that much fervor, we could make a lot of noise. Are you game enough, Greeks?

Chris Forrer/
Sports columnist
Chris Forrer can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.