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Goal in final minutes earn Wildcats win

Freshman forward Zoe Langsdorf out runs Pacific University freshman defender Taylor Gillespie during the Wildcats’ Oct. 8 game at home. Joel Ray/Photo editor

The Linfield Wildcats played two intense games Oct. 8 and 9, beating both the Pacific Lutheran University Lutes and the Pacific University Boxers.

This week, the women had “lots of energy,”  junior Christine Tamamoto said.

The Oct. 8 game against the Lutes had a rough start for the Wildcats, as Lutes player Sarah Gamache scored the first goal of the game. The first half ended with a score of 0-1.

The women stepped up their game during the second half.

Junior Anna Sours scored Linfield’s first goal, her second goal of the season. This first goal was the beginning of Linfield dominance on the soccer field.

Freshman Zoe Langsdorf scored the Wildcats’ second goal, assisted by Sours.

Linfield proceeded to score another goal less than 10 minutes later, this time scored by senior MacKenzie Doty, assisted by Tamamoto.

Both teams attempted to score another goal, but no more shots made it into the net. The game ended with a 3-1 victory for Linfield.

While the girls clearly won the game, “we could’ve played harder,” Doty said.

The match against the Pacific University Boxers on Oct. 9 proved to be a closer game than the match on Saturday.

No goals were scored in the first half, though several attempts were made by each team.

Linfield goalie Apolonia Martinez and Pacific goalie Brittany Hartmann each saved five goals during the first half.

No goals were scored in the second half of the game until less than 10 minutes left, when Tamamoto scored the first and only goal of the game.

“It felt really good to score,”  Tamamoto said.

The women’s soccer team has played eight conference games now and as the season reaches the halfway mark, training “gets harder,”  sophomore Megan Kearns said.

Practices are two hours long on Tuesday through Friday. With all of these practices and games, bodies can get worn down, resulting in injuries.

Doty said that injuries challenge the team’s strength and change field dynamics.

“We have a boatload of injuries,” Doty said. “Six or seven starters are out with injuries, but it gives other players the opportunity to step up.”

In addition to the two weekend games against Willamette University on Oct. 15 and George Fox University on Oct. 16, the Wildcats also have a game against Lewis & Clark on Oct. 12.

“This is a really important week,” Doty said. “It’s vital for our well-being in the conference.”

The games on Wednesday and Saturday are both away and Sunday’s game against George Fox University is a home game.

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

Football prepares for next level

Hey ’Cats. For those of you who have never had a chance to speak with him, head football coach Joseph Smith is a man of very few words.

Players have described him as a blue-collar, strong, silent leader and an inspiration to them every time he teaches them on the field.

In two full
seasons of covering the football program for The Linfield Review, I’ve gotten a chance to speak to coach Smith frequently about football and learned a few of his standard lines when it comes to talking to the press.

He never talks about
injuries, always pushes players to reach their potential  and encourages them to focus on the game at hand.

It’s always a safe bet that in the course of any given interview, these three things will come up at least once.

But last Saturday, I was surprised to find one of those cardinal rules was broken during my post-game talk with Smith.

When I asked him about a few new trick plays the team had tried to incorporate, a reverse on a punt return and an on-side kick, rather than giving the team line about
playing to potential, he said
something completely
different.

After only four games in the season, Coach Smith said that the team is  beginning to try to elevate their level of play to match that of national powers Mount Union and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

These two teams have met in the Division-III title game for the past several seasons and consistently produce Arena League and sometimes NFL prospects, so their talent and quality of play is self-evident.

But the fact that Smith is thinking to those teams this early in the season and breaking the “focus on the next game” rule means that he knows how special this team is, and he’s hungry.

I’m hungry, too, to see the potential of this team when it clashes with national powers.

Coach Smith knows the game of football intimately, and if he has that magic feeling with the this team, then I damn well do too.

Elevating their game will be difficult and require constant attention, but I have no doubt this
program is capable of it.

In case you missed it, this team just set a
post-World War II record for points in a single game, PATs kicked in a single game and scored
touchdowns on offense, defense and two
different special teams
scenarios.

Wow. I shudder to think what next week’s game at second-year
program Pacific is going to look like. Does their
scoreboard go up to three digits?

In any case, this is one season that you folks are not going to want to miss.

Magic is in the air, and Coach Smith, like the silent Jedi he is, can sense it.
Can you?

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

Loss will not get Wildcats down

This past week, the men’s soccer team played against Willamette University and lost 0-3. With this being the Wildcats eighth loss after playing 10 games (one win and one tie were made as well), the team still isn’t ready to give up hope  yet.

“Everyone has to get on the same page in order for us to be successful,” head coach Ian Lefebvre said.

The Wildcats, although the team as individuals are talented players, aren’t playing as a unit which is beginning to effect their performance on the field.

Along with having difficulties playing together as a team, a contributing factor to the excess amount of losses appears to be the fact that the Wildcats are still a young team.

“[We’re] definitely good enough, and definitely talented enough,” Lefebvre said.

The only thing the Wildcats need to work on now has become “finishing their chances” and making the goals that they intend to make on the field.

At the moment, the biggest problem with the team is building confidence.

“We must have confidence in ourselves and one another in order to unite and start playing up to our potential,” senior Wil Hiles said in an email.

“Obviously something has to change,” Lefebvre said. “[We need to] focus on things that we need to focus on.” With this in mind, the Wildcats plan on fixing the issues this week that they keep continuously running into such as communication and working together as a team as opposed to playing as individuals.

In addition to working on playing together as a unit, a plus for the Wildcats is that injuries are beginning to heal which allows more players to return to the field.

With all of these factors in mind, the Wildcats aren’t giving up and are continuing to push forward in an attempt to win the last few games of the season.

“We remain optimistic about the remainder of the season,” Hiles said. “We have too much pride in ourselves, each other and the program to throw in the towel.”

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Samantha Sigler/Copy editor
Samantha Sigler can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

Golf team scores low and wins

The men and women’s golf teams hosted their three way tournament Oct. 8 at Michelbook Country Club. The teams went up against
Willamette University and Pacific
University. Both teams finished first.

The men’s golf team finished on top with a total of 305, which was only 17 strokes above par.

Senior Alex Fitch finished first in the competition with only 69 strokes, three below par.

Two other top competitors for
Linfield were freshman Ryan Nolan and sophomore A.J. Taylor, who tied for third with Willamette freshman Johnathan Ross. All
together, the Linfield men had seven players in the top 10.

The women’s team had similar results, placing them in first with a total of 339, which was 51 strokes above par.

The women’s team had six of its competitors place in the top 10. Sophomore Danielle Lungren placed
highest of the Linfield women coming in third with a total of 83.

Sophomore Alexandria Smith placed fourth with 84 strokes, while sophomore Hannah Christianson and junior Brinn Hovde tied for fifth only two strokes behind her.

“It’s at our home course so we were all comfortable with the holes, which made things easier on us,” Hovde said. “This really allowed us to focus on making good shots and help us score low as a team.”

The women’s team will be playing at the George Fox
Invitational on Oct. 14 and 15 in Newberg, Ore.

 The men’s team will have the weekend off, but will play again Oct. 22 and 23 at Heron Lakes Golf Course in Portland, Ore., for the NWC
Classic.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Kaylyn Peterson/Sports editor
Kaylyn Peterson can be reached at linfieldreviewsports@gmail.com.

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