TACOMA, Wash. – Puget Sound goalkeeper Chris McDonald tied the program record for career shutouts and the Loggers scored once in each half to top Linfield 2-0 on a cloudy Saturday afternoon at Peyton Field.
Puget Sound (9-2-5, 5-1-4 NWC) snapped a five-match winless streak against Northwest Conference opponents and won a league game for the first time since Sept. 23. That win came against the Wildcats (6-8, 4-6 NWC), who have lost four of their last five contests.
Linfield went on the attack early, with Jake Baker taking a shot and back-to-back corner kicks for the ‘Cats within the first 3 ½ minutes of play. Baker’s attempt came on a free kick, and it took a diving effort from McDonald to flip the ball over the crossbar.
UPS countered with two looks at the goal and a corner kick before the clubs settled in.
About halfway through the opening stanza, the Loggers pressured Wildcat keeper Grant Loriaux with three shots in a span of two minutes. But the sophomore made a pair of saves to keep the home team off the board for the time being.
After outshooting the ‘Cats 8-2 through the first 36 minutes, Puget Sound finally saw its hard work pay off. Carson Swope sent a through ball to Oliver Field, who finished the play for his first goal of the season.
With Linfield facing a 1-0 hole after the break, Loraiux stood his ground between the posts, making four more stops in the second half.
On the opposite end of the field, Baker and Harper Taylor looked for openings in the Logger defense to knot the score and avoid being shut out by UPS for a second time this year. Both Wildcats had shots blocked or saved, however, and another attempt by Brad Dupea off a corner kick went wide.
With one minute remaining, Swope added a goal to his stat line, dribbling past Linfield defenders and striking the ball past a diving Loriaux into the right side of the net.
Overall, the Loggers outshot the Wildcats 22-7 and won seven corner kicks to Linfield's three.
TRIVIA ANSWER: (From last week’s story: Who has the highest all-time average points per game total in Linfield men’s soccer history?) Jeff Brooks averaged 1.67 points per game, totaling 32 goals and 16 assists in 48 contests, between 1983 and 1985.
COMING UP: Linfield plays its final out-of-state contest of the season Sunday afternoon at Pacific Lutheran. Match time in Parkland is set for 2:30 p.m.