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On Oct. 16 the Wildcats received their second win of the season against George Fox with a score of 2-1. After losing Oct. 14 against Pacific with a score of 2-0, the Wildcats didn’t let that discourage them and achieved their goal of winning another game.
“[The] score didn’t really reflect how well we played that game,” freshman Grant Loriaux said about the Oct. 14 game against Pacific.
The Wildcats were able to play good possession throughout the game, but were “not getting good opportunities.”
They didn’t let this get their hopes down, however, and continued on to the Oct. 16 game with a better outlook on the game.
“Everyone felt like we were going to win because we were playing so well,” Loriaux said.
The Wildcats were able to score the first goal, but were tied when half time came around. They didn’t let this discourage them, and as the minutes began to tick away, they scored another goal. Playing possession and defense after scoring the second goal, the Wildcats were able to successfully keep the ball away from the other team, and were then able to score another win for the team.
“Everyone was really happy,” Loriaux said about the Wildcats’ win after a streak of nine losses and one tie. “It was weird [to win again].”
After winning this game, the Wildcats’ have gained their confidence back and hope to continue their winning streak and making more goals. The next game is a home game Oct. 22 against Puget Sound.
“Hopefully we can keep it going,” Loriaux said.
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After a two week break, the Linfield cross country teams competed at the Concordia/Adidas Classic in Portland on Oct. 15.
The men’s team went up against 103 other competitors. Linfield senior Scott Gage and sophomore Joe Gladow finished in the top 20. Gage finished 17th with a time of 25:53, and Gladow ended the race after 26 minutes and 38 seconds coming in 20th place. Also scoring for Linfield were seniors Arian Anderson, Alex Van Slyke and Eric Weinbeder. Anderson finished 29th, Van Slyke came in 27th and
Weinbender finished 38th. The team as a whole finished fourth out of 10 teams.
“The Concordia meet this weekend was mainly made up of NAIA schools, so it gave our team a chance to see new competition that we haven’t raced against this season,” Gage said. “Last year, there were some strong teams at this meet and it is a fairly fast course so it was a good chance to sharpen up going into championships.”
During the women’s race, Linfield had three women finish in the top 40. Sophomore Mimi Seeley finished the race in 18 minutes and 37 seconds with junior Nelly Evans and senior Shanna Peaden finishing less than 30 seconds behind her. Also running for Linfield was freshman Madison Trowbridge who finished 44th with sophomore Hannah Greider who was two seconds behind Trowbridge and came in 45th.
“Our team is having a strong season and have put ourselves in a good position to place well as a team and individually at conference and regionals,” Gage said. “We have a great
opportunity to make the national meet this year, and it will take a whole team effort to reach that goal. We are definitely capable of reaching nationals and we are excited to get into the championship races and see how it all shakes out.”
The women’s team finished sixth out of the 10 teams competing.
Linfield’s cross country team will prepare for the Northwest Conference Championship for two weeks, until the meet Oct. 29. Linfield will be hosting the event at Willamette Mission State Park.
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The Linfield women’s soccer team won three games this week, winning 2-0 against Lewis & Clark on Oct. 12, 1-0 against Willamette on Oct. 15 and 2-0 against George Fox on Oct. 16.
The game against Lewis & Clark started out well for Linfield. In less than 15 minutes, junior Anna Sours scored the first goal of the game.
Another goal wasn’t scored until the second half, when Linfield scored once again. This time, the goal was scored by senior Jenna Quiring, with about 20 minutes left in the game. Lewis & Clark attempted to score a couple of goals, but aimed too high and wide. The game ended soon afterward, securing the win for Linfield.
The away game against the Willamette Bearcats started out rough, with multiple fouls committed on both sides. With less than two minutes left in the first half, freshman Zoe Langsdorf attempted a shot at the goal, but the ball went too far to the right. The first half ended with neither team scoring a goal.
The second half played out similarly to the first half, with multiple fouls and no goals scored. Five minutes into the second half, Willamette player Stephanie Skelly got a yellow card.
Toward the bottom of the game, sophomore Marie Johanson attempted a goal, but the ball was saved by Willamette goalie Nicole Price.
The game ended up in overtime. With two minutes left in overtime, junior Christine Tamamoto scored a goal, winning the game for the Wildcats.
“It was the most amazing goal,” said sophomore Emily Fellows.
On Oct. 16, the Wildcats played at home against the George Fox Bruins. Linfield freshman Stephanie Socotch scored her first goal of the season and the first goal 28 minutes into the game. The remainder of the first half was played aggressively, with multiple fouls and attempts at the goal committed by the Wildcats, but no goals.
Both teams fought hard for a win during the second half, Linfield fighting to stay ahead, George Fox fighting to catch up. Senior MacKenzie Doty secured the win for the Wildcats when she scored a goal with less than a minute left in the game.
For the Wildcats, the weekend was all about “getting revenge,” said Fellows. Earlier in the season, the Wildcats lost 3-1 to Willamette and tied 1-1 to George Fox.
“It felt good to get revenge,” said Cole McCool, assistant coach.
Not only did the Wildcats not let either team win, but “we didn’t give away any goals,” said McCool. “Defensively, the entire group is playing really well.” No team has scored a goal on the Wildcats for the past four games.
After the weekend’s games, the Linfield women’s soccer team is ranked number one in the conference.
Next, the Wildcats are up against the University of Puget Sound Loggers on Oct. 22.
“We have to beat them,” said Fellows.
The Wildcats only have three weeks left in their season, playing their final in-season game against Pacific Lutheran on Nov. 5.
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The Linfield Wildcats went up against Willamette University on Oct. 12 and Puget Sound University on Oct. 15, working hard but losing both matches in the end. Linfield dropped to 8-11 overall and 3-7 in the conference.
During the match against the Bearcats on Oct. 12 the Wildcats started strong with an early four points but the other team caught up quickly, evening the score with 10 points. Willamette secured the win with a score of 25-21. During the second set, the Bearcats held steady as the Wildcats struggled to get ahead. The Wildcats made many advances but it was not enough to keep Willamette from taking the game 25-22. The third set began with a strong start for the Wildcats as they racked up points. The Bearcats, however, caught up again. The two teams rallied back and forth until the Bearcats surged ahead, taking the game 25-21 and winning the match in three sets.
Leading the way for the Wildcats, freshman Kailana Ritte-Camara with 11 kills and nine digs, senior Samantha Lau with 26 digs and freshman setter Audrey Frazier with 24 assists and seven digs.
In the first set in the match against Puget Sound, the Wildcats were sure to pull out a victory. The Wildcats were three points away from the opposing team with a good chance of taking the first set when a few errors gave the win to the Loggers 25-19.
The second set started with an early lead for the Loggers, but the Wildcats tied the match at 10 and again at 24. Again, two errors allowed Puget Sound a win with a score of 26-24. The third game was a strong start for the Wildcats, surging ahead by four points, and then again with eight. Puget Sound closed the gap, but then began misfiring, giving Linfield a 25-14 victory. In the final set, the Loggers piled up their kills and digs. The Wildcats couldn’t keep up with the sudden momentum and the score shot up to 23-12 in the Loggers’ favor. Linfield was unable to regain its composure and Puget Sound took the game with a score of 25-13, winning the match in four sets.
Senior Tara Hill and freshman Leimomi Hookano each contributed with six kills. Lau had 30 digs, a match-high, with an ace and a kill. Freshman
Mahina Galletes had 25 assists and 13 digs. Ritte-Camara had nine kills and 13 digs, and sophomore Kelsey Ludin had 10 kills and two aces.
The Wildcats continue to fight their way through the Northwest Conference as they head to Washington to play Whitworth University on Oct. 21 in Spokane, Wash., and Whitman
College on Oct. 22 in Walla Walla, Wash.
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Hey ’Cats. We’ve reached the midpoint in the fall sports season, a time I usually like to take to reflect on how the team has performed thus far and what areas still need focus as the year rolls on.
So far this football season, we’ve seen a young quarterback come into his own, a running game suddenly revitalized and a streak preserved for a 56th consecutive season.
Here’s the mid-season report card for the football program in a few condensed areas.
The Wildcats’ offense has been nothing short of prolific when everything is clicking this season, averaging 453 yards of total offense and 43.6 points per game.
In close games like those against Cal Lutheran and Willamette, the offense has been able to execute clutch plays and convert in the red zone when needed most. Junior quarterback Mickey Inns has found his passing touch, throwing at least one touchdown in every game this season and racking up four consecutive games with more than 200 yards through the air to only three interceptions.
Junior tailback Josh Hill, stepping in against Cal Lutheran for the injured Aaron Williams, has created havoc for opposing
defenses while averaging more than 80 yards per game.
A deep receiving core has provided Inns with many targets to choose from; eight receivers have nabbed touchdown catches this season. The offensive line has been rock solid, giving up only two sacks all season.
Dropped passes continue to be an issue, however. Last week against Pacific, two clean passes by Inns that would have become touchdowns were dropped in the end zone. Also, the Wildcats had 10 penalties for 96 yards that kept the pace of the game slow and gave Pacific additional chances to score. These mistakes can and will be fatal once playoff season begins.
The top defense in the Northwest Conference continues to flex its strength every contest. This year, the Wildcat defense is allowing only eight points and 291 yards per game, a jaw-dropping statistic through five games.
Sophomore standouts Tyler Robitaille and Dominique Forrest have been key players on a young linebacking core that has helped
gather 23 sacks for 148 lost yards and 77 tackles for loss that resulted in a net 245 yards lost.
The ball-hawking veteran secondary has pulled down nine interceptions so far this season, including two from All-American safety Drew Fisher, who also leads the team in tackles.
It’s hard to find fault with such a stifling defensive performance, but there are always little things present that bear scrutiny. Clean, consistent tackling is always the ideal level to strive for as a defense, and some missed tackles in the backfield and in open space have led to big plays by opposing offenses. On the whole this has been pretty clean, but nonetheless is something to continue to work towards. Additionally, silly penalties that give life back to an opponent’s offense were a persistent problem against Pacific last weekend.
The unsung hero of the 2011 season, Linfield’s special teams play has been unreal. Junior punter Josh Repp has pinned six of his 16 punts within the 20-yard line and is averaging 34.9 yards a punt.
The return team has been stellar as well, with one kickoff returned 86 yards for a score last weekend against Pacific and two punts blocked and returned for scores in the past two weeks as well.
Coach Joseph Smith has mixed up his return men and found success across the board, with six Wildcats averaging more than 20 yards a return. Kicker Josh Kay has been near perfect, only missing one field goal against Willamette in heavy rain but nailing all 29 of his PAT attempts.
I don’t have a lot of negative things to say about Linfield special teams this season except that the onside kick attempt against Puget Sound was pretty terrible. That could use some work.
Chris Forrer/Sports columnist
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