SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – Phillip Murphy scored a pair of goals as UC-Santa Cruz rolled to a 6-1 victory over previously undefeated Linfield Sunday afternoon on the campus of UC-Santa Cruz.
Zane Carey scored the lone goal for the ‘Cats – a header in the 66th minute – who fell to 2-1 on the season with the loss.
The Banana Slugs (3-2) capitalized on an early opportunity, as DJ Fuller finished a cross from Alika Okamitsu in the eighth minute for the early 1-0 advantage.
UC-Santa Cruz kept the pressure on Grant Loriaux, peppering Linfield’s keeper with five shots in the first half hour of play. Offensively, the Wildcats struggled to build an attack, managing only two first-half shots and a single corner kick.
The Slugs took command midway through the first half when a penalty was granted and converted by Okamitsu in the 33rd minute.
A save from Loriaux in the 38th minute prevented the game from getting out of hand before the break, and kept the ‘Cats in contention. The save was one of six Loriaux had to make in the first half, while Slug goalkeeper Nate Levinson was only forced to make one stop.
Similar to Saturday’s game, the Wildcats began the second half with a quartet of new starters, and this time Scott Goodman took over in goal for Loriaux.
Despite the change in personnel, Linfield could not slow down the UC-Santa Cruz attack. Just five minutes into the second period, a chip shot from Phillip Murphy beat Goodman and pushed the score to 3-0. It took Murphy only seven minutes to strike again; teammate Neal Hetzel assisted on Murphy’s second goal of the match, which gave the Slugs an insurmountable lead.
The Wildcats refused to give up, however, and in the 66th minute, a cross from Tyler Sedlacek found Carey’s head and then the back of the net.
The Slugs also finished strong, responding with goals in the 72nd and 74th minutes, to all but seal the victory. Brent Godlewski and Aaron Surrey each got in on the scoring, and by the 74th minute UC-Santa Cruz sat on a 6-1 advantage.
A pair of late corner kicks for the Wildcats proved to be unsuccessful as the Slugs were able to thwart any potential scoring threat. Linfield took one final shot in the 88th minute, but Levinson was there to knock it down.
Overall, Linfield was out shot 15-5 and conceded six corner kicks. Out of the 15 shots taken by UC-Santa Cruz, 13 were on target, while the ‘Cats managed just four on frame.
NEXT UP: Linfield heads up to Whitman College next Saturday to open Northwest Conference play. Match time against the Missionaries is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. in Walla Walla, Wash.