Category Archives: Sports

’Cats chop down Loggers, 73-7

Sophomore cornerback Brandon Funk tackles the Loggers’ ball carrier, sophomore Tieler Souza on Oct. 8 at home. Joel Ray/Photo editor

Junior running back Stephen Nasca celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the first half of the Homecoming game against the University of Puget Sound Loggers on Oct. 8 at Maxwell Field. Joel Ray/Photo editor

Playing for a packed Homecoming-day crowd at Maxwell Field on Oct. 8, the No. 05-ranked Linfield Wildcats put on a clinic in a 73-7 rout with the University of Puget Sound Loggers.

The ’Cats dominated every aspect of the game, amassing 490 yards of offense while limiting the Loggers’ high-octane passing game to only 201 yards, four interceptions and two fumbles. The Wildcats did not surrender a turnover.

“I was really pleased with how our guys prepared all week,” head coach Joseph Smith said. “They had great focus. This was certainly as good a performance as a team as we’ve had in a long time.”

The scoring started early and continued at a staggering pace for the entire contest. Junior tailback Josh Hill darted 12 yards for the first Linfield touchdown to cap a drive that only took 1:01 off the clock.

On UPS’ next drive, sophomore linebacker Dominique Forrest sacked Logger quarterback George Ka’ai and caused a fumble, which was scooped up by sophomore linebacker Tyler Robitaille. A handful of plays later, junior tailback Aaron Williams scampered in for a four-yard touchdown to make the score 14-0.

“Our coaches did a good job of telling us where the holes would be,” sophomore receiver Charlie Poppen said. “They called the right plays at the right times.”

After another sack of Ka’ai gave Linfield another opportunity to score, junior kicker Josh Kay hammered a 49-yard field goal to boost the lead to 17-0.

Kay also set the all-time Linfield record for extra points in a single game by finishing with a perfect 10 for 10.

Junior quarterback Mickey Inns added a one-yard touchdown toss to sophomore tight end Jacob Priester at the start of the second quarter, his first of three on the day.

Robitaille and Forrest each had interceptions of Logger quarterbacks, the latter setting up a 45-yard dash to the end zone by junior tailback Stephen Nasca to put Linfield ahead 31-0.

“I pride myself on making the best of every opportunity I’m given,” Nasca said. “When my name’s called I always want to be prepared.”

Senior cornerback Christian Hanna sparked a scoring frenzy in the final six minutes of the first half by picking off a pass by Loggers quarterback James Korn and returning it 33 yards for a touchdown.

Senior rover Taylor Skore picked off another Korn throw on UPS’ next series, and Inns fired a 37-yard touchdown pass to Poppen on the next play.

Senior defensive tackle Tommy Patrick fell on a fumble by UPS receiver Ross Zuhl to set up Inns’ final touchdown throw, a 25-yard bomb to junior Lucas Jepson.

Robitaille added to the Loggers’ struggles by blocking a punt that was run in 3 yards for a touchdown by sophomore safety Colin Foreman.

At the half, the ’Cats already lead 59-0.

“With a veteran secondary, it’s a lot easier to keep the pass coverages up,” Forrest said. “Turnovers are always something we want to improve on in-game.”

The starters left the field in the second half and gave way to the younger Wildcats, but the scoring continued nevertheless.

Sophomore quarterback Josh Yoder had a 10-yard touchdown pass to freshman receiver Colin Nelson and freshman tailback Trevor Gomez scooted in for a score on a four-yard run, making it a 73-0 margin.

The Loggers finally found the end zone with third-string quarterback Braden Foley tossing a 7-yard score at the end of the third quarter.

Neither team scored in the fourth to leave the score at 73-7.

“You just love seeing the young guys get a chance to go play,” Smith said. “They get to enjoy the fruits of their labor after working so hard for us.”

Next week, the ’Cats travel to Forest Grove to compete against the Pacific University Boxers, a team still seeking its first victory of the season.

“We need to strive for perfect technique,” senior center Hayden Mace said. “Coach Smith preaches that it’s not who we’re playing, we’re playing ourselves.”

Chris Forrer/Sports columnist
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Wildcats fight hard but come up short

Sophomore Megan Kearns dribbles the ball down field toward the Bruin’s goal Oct. 1 at home. Victor Zhu/Staff photographer

The Linfield women’s soccer team played two fierce games this weekend, winning the Sept. 30 game against the Whitman College Missionaries with a score of 1-0 and tying the game Oct. 1 against the Whitworth University Pirates.

After tying a game with George Fox University and losing a game to Willamette University last week, the Wildcats learned a valuable lesson.

“You can’t overlook any team,” freshman Taylor Collinsworth said.

After last week’s games, sophomore Sara Miller said that the Wildcats “weren’t playing as a team.”

“We played better as a team,” Collinsworth said. “We were all team-oriented instead of individually oriented.”

The Sept. 30 game got off to an exciting start, with junior Anna Sours scoring the first goal of the game and her first goal of the season.

“It gave us a lead and confidence the whole way,” Sours said. The rest of the game ended up being a defensive game, with neither team scoring anymore goals. The Missionaries only managed four attempts at a goal. Two of these were saved by Linfield goalie, sophomore Apolonia Martinez, one was blocked, and another was wide. The Wildcats managed to get 12 attempts at a goal, but none of these shots made it past Missionary goalie Emily Davis.

The game against the Pirates ended with even fewer points than Saturday’s game, with neither team scoring any goals. Two 10 minute overtimes were played, but neither resulted in a win for either team. Both teams fought hard, making several attempts at a goal, but no shots made it past either team’s goalie.

Both the Wildcats and the Bearcats have a shot at the conference title, and both played a fierce game to show why they deserve the title.

“All games have been pretty aggressive. Everyone’s coming out with a vengeance,” Collinsworth said. The Wildcats play the Bearcats again Oct. 29 in Spokane, Wash., giving the women another opportunity to defeat the Bearcats.

The Wildcats play Pacific Lutheran Oct. 8 in Tacoma, Wash.,  and Pacific University Oct. 9 on the Wildcat’s home field.

Meghan O’Rourke/Opinion editor
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’Cats struggle resulting in defeat

The men’s soccer team lost once again against Whitman College with a score of 1-0 Oct. 1, as well as Oct. 2 against Whitworth College by one penalty kick.

“[It’s] unfair that it was decided on a penalty kick,” senior Kyle Brouse said.

This puts the Wildcats at seven losses, one win at the beginning of the season against Northwest Christian University, and one tie against George
Fox University.

“We couldn’t get the rhythm,” Brouse said about their most recent losses. “[We] couldn’t finalize
actual passes.” While the games are intense and close, the Wildcat’s are having a difficult time making and scoring goals.

“[We] need to execute [our] opportunity in front of the net” head coach Ian Lefebvre said. “[We’re] getting better at communicating with each other, now its goals [we need to focus on].”

As injuries continue to heal and players recover, communication is getting better, which aids the Wildcats in their game. While communication is getting better with the team, the Wildcats find that now they simply need to work on finishing their chances and making the goals they need in order to win.

“[We] haven’t been able to finish, it’s been like that all season,” freshman Eric Gutierrez said.

In addition to working on finishing their chances, the Wildcats also feel as though they need to work on not letting the referees calls get to them.

“We do get frustrated,” Brouse said. “[We] get too caught up in emotions, [and] let the ref’s get to us too much.”

As for the last few games, the Wildcats feel as though they’ve “been unlucky [these] last couple weeks,” Lefebvre said. They’ve Been making “simple mistakes,” as Gutierrez said.

However, the Wildcats aren’t letting these past few weeks stop them, and plan on continuing hard work at practice
to show it on the field.

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Cross-country places high at invitational

The cross-country teams came out in the top 10 teams at the 37th Charles Bowles Willamette Invitational at Bush’s Pasture Park on Oct. 1 in Salem.

Out of the 15 teams that competed at the invitational, the Linfield men’s team placed eighth and came in third for the Northwest conference teams for the men’s eight-kilometer race. The men’s  team combined time was 2:10:28.90. Each runner ran an average of 26:05.78.

Linfield’s top competitor was senior Scott Gage, coming in 35th place out of 161 runners, with a time of 25:30.45. Also scoring high for the men’s team was senior Arian Anderson, who ran the race in 25:39.69 and placed 42nd. Freshman Calvin Howell placed high coming in 66th, with his time of 26:18.24.

“All our new recruits have helped us add a lot of depth to the team, especially on the women’s side with the 12 or so new freshmen, but on the men’s side as well.  Howell has stepped up a lot and has been running in the top six consistently every meet. He was even our third finisher yesterday at Willamette. We expect big things from freshman Chad Linnerooth and the others as well. Everyone has a lot of potential,” sophomore Joe Gladow said.

“I think this weekend we continued turning the heads to our program. The best teams in the conference were there and that includes us. We are a strong team,” senior Shanna Peaden said in an email. “Having such a big team has been good for all of us, not only did we gain some big talent, but now we have to fight for the varsity spots come championship time. It helps everyone.”

The women’s team also did well and placed 10th overall, and came in fourth out of the other Northwest Conference teams. Altogether, the team ran the women’s five-kilometer race in 1:35:17.32. The women’s fastest competitor was sophomore Mimi Seeley, running an 18:38.86. Also placing in the top 50 was senior Nelly Evans who finished with an 18:51.15 and finished 49th. Sophomore Hannah Greider  also placed with her time of 19:12.04, putting her in the 70th spot.

“We haven’t had huge challenges this season, we have dealt with some minor injuries here and there, but people are being smart and taking care of it,” she said. “Things are going really well, we can expect big things from both sides this season if we stay healthy and keep working.”

The cross-country team has next weekend off, but will race again Oct. 15 at Concordia University for the Puma Classic in

Kalyyn Peterson/Sports editor
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Volleyball spikes record with two wins

Freshman Audrey Fraizer sets the ball for sophomore Kelsey Ludin during the Wildcats’ game against Northwest Christian University on Sept. 28. Joel Ray/Photo editor

The Linfield volleyball team continued on in the Northwest Conference this week, winning two matches and losing one, leaving Linfield 7-8 and 2-4 in the conference standings. The Wildcats played Northwest Christian University Sept. 28, Lewis & Clark College Sept. 30 and Pacific University Oct. 1.

“The season has been good, sophomore Kelsey Ludin said. “We have a lot of new girls on the team, so it has been fun getting to know them and play with them.”

“I’m looking forward to growing and improving as team.”

The Wildcats played the Northwest Christian Beacons in a close four-game match Sept. 28. The first set featured 11 kills from Linfield, shaking Northwest Christian and winning the game 25-23. The Beacons came back in the second set, tying the match early with a score of 25-23. The Wildcats came back quickly in the third game when they got eight points up on the board before Northwest Christian was even able to score. Linfield swept the game 25-13.

Both teams struggled for the lead in the fourth and final match, but the ‘Cats ended the match with a score of 26-24 when freshman Kailana Ritte-Camara smashed a spike over the net.

The match against Lewis & Clark started out strong for the Wildcats Sept. 30 as the girls controlled the first set 25-17. The Pioneers quickly gained the lead in the second set. Linfield struggled to catch up and eventually surrendered the set to Lewis & Clark, losing 25-15. Linfield stole the third set with a score of 25-22. The Wildcats took the fourth and final set after a back and forth struggle with the Pioneers, winning 25-17. Among many stars of the night, Ritte-Camara had 18 kills, and senior libero Samantha Lau had 19 digs.

“Our offense has stepped up a lot, and we have started making the other team earn their points rather than just giving the points up,” freshman Audrey Frazier said. “I think we have really come together as a team and that will show in our future games.”

The girls fought for the lead in the match against Pacific on Oct. 1 but faltered, losing 25-21, 25-14 and 25-21.

The Wildcats stay strong and positive as they focus on further improving and sweeping the conference.

“I am really looking forward to the second half of the season and meeting the teams that we have already played again,” Frazier said. “We have already improved so much since our first conference match and I can’t wait to come back and play those teams after we have reached our full potential.”

Next up, the ‘Cats will go up against Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash., on Oct. 7 and George Fox University in Newberg on Oct. 8.

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