KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Jumping out to a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the match, Linfield scored once more before the halftime buzzer to gain some breathing room in an eventual 2-1 victory over Oregon Tech Friday night at Trevor Derrah Field.
Tyler Repic got the Wildcats (2-0) rolling and Eric Conte chimed in with his first career collegiate goal to knock off the Owls, who fell to 0-2.
Early on, it was Oregon Tech that appeared to have the offensive advantage. The Owls put pressure on the Linfield defense almost immediately after the opening whistle, firing off three shots and earning a corner within the first 2½ of play.
The ‘Cats countered, however, and Brian DeGrandmont (Sr., Portland, Ore.) sent a through ball to Repic, who tapped it past OIT keeper Loren Jessen for the score.
Not satisfied with a one-goal lead, Linfield kept gunning for more. Nicholas Autencio and Domenico Del Prete each forced Jessen to make a save as part of a 6-2 shot advantage for the 'Cats over the next 15 minutes. On the opposite end of the pitch, Luis Valdez came close to knotting the score, but his attempt hit the crossbar.
Conte entered the match at about the 23-minute mark of the opening period, and got involved in the offense straight away. After receiving a cross from Jake Baker, the freshman settled the pass and fired a shot off Jessen’s gloves and into the net.
Facing a 2-0 deficit with 19 minutes to play, Oregon Tech did all it could to narrow the gap before halftime. Unfortunately, the Owls were twice called offside and twice stopped at the net by Linfield keeper Jorge Rodriguez.
As it did to open the first half, Oregon Tech came out of the break on the attack, firing off the first two shots of the second 45. But with the Wildcats controlling possession thereafter, Owls did not have another opportunity until the 71st minute. Jackson Wold’s shot banged off the crossbar, but Michael Imada followed up with a rebound header to pull OIT within one.
The home team never seriously threatened after that, however, as Linfield maintained a 8-1 advantage in shots and 6-0 advantage in corner kicks over the final 19 minutes of play.
COMING UP: Linfield makes it a weekend in Klamath Falls with a neutral-site match against Walla Walla University Saturday evening at 8 p.m.