For the first time in two seasons, a Wildcat has been named to the All-Northwest Conference Men’s Soccer Team, with Wednesday’s announcement that Domenico Del Prete was honored as a first team selection following a vote of the league’s coaches.
Teammates Tyler Repic, Harper Taylor, Jake Baker and Brad Dupea received honorable mention consideration for the all-star squad, a career first for three of the four players.
Del Prete finished as the Northwest Conference’s leading scorer, tallying 10 goals to go along with three assists. Three of his goals were game winners, including the decisive score in a 2-1 victory over Whitman. He saved the best for last, though, recording his first career hat trick in the season finale against Willamette. In recognition of that single-game performance, Del Prete was honored as the NWC Men’s Soccer Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week.
Del Prete was one of just two freshmen named to the Northwest Conference first or second team; the other was NWC Offensive Player of the Year Emmanuel Amarh of Pacific Lutheran.
Returning from an entire missed due to injury, Repic saw action in 18 games, starting seven. He scored a pair of goals and assisted on three others to finish with Linfield’s fifth-highest point total (7). Repic was also an honorable mention honoree as a freshman in 2010.
Taylor was a steadying force – both physically and mentally – in the midfield, starting all 18 matches and recording one assist. He also served as a team captain. For his career, Taylor started 42 of 45 games, tallying two goals and two assists.
In his first season suiting up for the Wildcats, Baker finished as the team’s second-highest point generator, registering six goals and four assists for a total of 16 points. He scored four times on penalty kicks, the most of any player in the league, while starting 17 of 18 matches. Early in the year, Baker garnered NWC Men’s Soccer Offensive Student-Athlete of the Week honors after a three-goal weekend that helped the Wildcats score a pair of victories over George Fox and Pacific.
Dupea, a four-year starter in the backfield, saw action in 17 matches, starting 14. Though defenders are generally not known for their scoring, the senior made sure his final season was memorable with two half-field goals, scored on free kicks from just beyond midfield.
Linfield saw significant improvements in play on both the offensive and defensive ends of the field, resulting in a 7-11 overall record, including 5-9 against Northwest Conference teams, and sixth-place finish in the league.