NEWBERG, Ore. – Jake Baker and Tyler Repic each had one goal and an assist, leading the Wildcats to a 3-0 Northwest Conference victory over George Fox Sunday afternoon at the Austin Sports Complex.
Linfield (6-7, 4-5 NWC) took the initiative coming off the opening whistle, as Domenico Del Prete fired a shot that missed left within the first two minutes of the game.
The Bruins (2-11-1, 2-7 NWC) responded, however, with Luke Hammer taking a pair of shots, but neither found the net and the score remained 0-0.
Grant Loriaux was kept on his toes, facing 10 first-half shots from the Bruins, and was forced to make four saves.
After a shot each from Repic and Del Prete, Baker gained control of the ball on the right side of the field in the 26th minute. The forward sent in a cross to Del Prete, who scored his fourth goal of the season to break the deadlock.
Linfield wasted no time in doubling its lead, as the ‘Cats struck again just two minutes later. Repic carried the ball into the box and tucked a shot into the right corner of the goal, making the score 2-0.
The Bruins battled back, but could not penetrate the Wildcats’ back line. A pair of saves from Loriaux – one in the 36th minute and one in the 41st – ensured the ‘Cats would head into halftime with the 2-0 advantage.
Each side won a single corner kick in the first, and neither was flagged for an offside penalty.
Loriaux handled another shot from Hammer in the 52nd minute, and Linfield quickly turned possession around to win a corner kick in 55 seconds later. Baker’s cross found Del Prete, but the forward’s shot was saved by George Fox keeper Luis Angel Del Rio.
The ‘Cats won another corner in the 69th minute, and Baker set up to send in a cross. He tapped it into play from the left side to Repic, who sent a liner toward the near post. As Del Rio moved to intercept the play, Baker deflected the ball into the right corner of the goal, giving the Wildcats a commanding 3-0 lead.
George Fox attempted to build an attack, but shots from Luke Andrew and Dillon Whitham were nothing Linfield couldn’t handle.
Linfield closed out the game by keeping possession and protecting Loriaux between the pipes.
'CAT SCRATCH: The Bruins have not defeated Linfield since a 3-1 victory in Newberg on Oct. 5, 2008…Baker now has 13 points through 13 matches this season…the shutout was the Wildcats’ second of the season, both recorded by Loriaux…the win in Newberg marked the third road victory of the season for Linfield.
TRIVIA QUESTION: Who has the highest all-time average points per game total in Linfield men’s soccer history? (Answer in next week’s game story)
AHEAD: Linfield remains on the road next weekend, heading to Tacoma, Wash., to take on Puget Sound on Saturday and Pacific Lutheran on Sunday. Both games are scheduled to kick off at 2:30.