McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Brad Dupea channeled his inner David Beckham and the Wildcats defeated Pacific 4-1 in a Northwest Conference match Sunday afternoon at the Linfield soccer field.
The defender recorded his first career goal on a spectacular shot from beyond the midfield mark, giving the Wildcats a 3-1 lead late in the match.
The ‘Cats (5-4, 3-3 NWC) wasted no time taking an early advantage, moving the ball into the box within the first five minutes. After rattling around momentarily, the ball found the foot of Jake Baker, who finished a shot from six yards out.
Pacific (3-8, 1-5 NWC) showed potential for attack, as Alex Arrington sent a dangerous low cross into the box midway through the first. Grant Loriaux slid and corralled the ball before it reached Pacific’s strikers.
The play jolted the Boxers’ offense to life, and Linfield conceded a corner kick a minute later. Garrick Knowles sent the cross into the box and Nick Rudella knocked it home with his head to knot the score at 1-1.
In an attempt to re-establish the lead, the ‘Cats pushed forward into Pacific’s defensive third. Tyler Sedlacek gained control in the middle of the field and sent a pass down the left side to Danny Snelgrow. The forward brought the ball into the box and finished a left-footed shot from a near-impossible angle to make the score 2-1 in favor of the home team.
The ‘Cats closed out the first half with solid possession and protected their lead heading into the break. Pacific outshot Linfield 12-10 in the first, and both keepers were kept relatively busy with frequent scoring threats.
Physicality picked up at the start of the second as both teams drew several fouls early on.
Tyler Repic was the focus of Linfield’s attack moving through the second, as he contributed several energetic minutes coming off the bench.
After winning a ball in the defensive end, Chris Musser played the ball to Sedlacek, who threaded a perfect pass into the offensive third to Domenico Del Prete. After taking a touch past Pacific keeper Michael Summers, Del Prete took a shot from a tough angle at an open net, but the ball rattled off the right post.
With just over 10 minutes remaining, Linfield drew a foul and was given a free kick right at midfield. With the wind at his back, Dupea struck the ball and watched it soar down the field and over Summers’ outstretched hands into the back of the net.
With the score already in Linfield’s favor at 3-1, the ‘Cats were given a penalty kick with eight minutes left. Baker converted the shot and ensured another victory for the Wildcats.
'CAT SCRATCH: The four goals scored was a season high for the Wildcats...21 different players saw action for Linfield...the 'Cats have more than doubled their scoring output from the entirety of the 2011 season, tallying 13 goals already compared to just six last year...Linfield's most recent win against Pacific was Oct. 26, 2008, when the 'Cats won 1-0 at home.
UP NEXT: The Wildcats take on St. John’s of Minnesota Thursday, Oct. 4 in a nonconference matchup. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.