PARKLAND, Wash. - Pacific Lutheran senior Chad Kearns tallied a hat trick to help the Lutes beat Linfield 4-0 in the Northwest Conference opener for both teams Saturday evening at the Pacific Lutheran University soccer field. Pacific Lutheran moves to 4-1 on the year, while Linfield drops to 1-3 overall.
Linfield hung with the Lutes in almost every aspect of the game, but Pacific Lutheran was able to take advantage of their 13 total shots while the 'Cats were unable to convert on any of their 12. Part of that came in part to Pacific Lutheran goalkeeper Joe Rayburn, who recorded eight saves to Linfield's four in the match.
Three of the Lutes' four goals came in the first half of play. The first came in the 14th minute, when Pacific Lutheran's Spencer Augustin hit Kearns with a pass, who then beat Linfield goalkeeper Greg Sander to put the Lutes up 1-0.
Only 51 seconds later, Kearns and Augustin traded roles, and it was Kearns who assisted Augustin for his fourth goal of the season. Linfield found themselves down 2-0 with 30 minutes still to play in the half.
As if Augustin and Kearns wasn't beginning to sound familiar enough for the 'Cats, the pair decided to connect again in the 24th minute. This time Kearns juked Linfield defenders before scoring from 18 yards out to give the Lutes a confident 3-0 lead.
Finally in the 56th minute of play, Kearns put the dagger in the Wildcats with his third goal of the night, striking the back of the net from 15 yards out. The 4-0 deficit was simply to much for the 'Cats to overcome.
(Jr., Napa, Calif.) led Linfield with seven attempted shots, five of which were on goal.
NEXT UP: The Wildcats look to bounce back against Puget Sound Sunday, Sept. 18 at 2:30 p.m. in Tacoma.