NEWBERG, Ore. – The first career game-winning goal from McMinnville native Nicholas Autencio carried Linfield, a 2-1 victor over Yamhill County rival Geoge Fox, to its first Northwest Conference men’s soccer triumph Saturday afternoon at the Austin Sports Complex.
After the Wildcats (4-4-1, 1-3-1 NWC) and Bruins (1-10, 0-5 NWC) each notched a goal within the opening 11 minutes of action, Autencio finally broke the 1-1 stalemate in the 74th minute. The freshman, running down the right side of the keeper’s box, received a through ball from Chris Musser and after beating his defender, angled a shot into the far left corner for his third career goal, and the first for the Wildcats in the month of October.
The Linfield defense, backed by Jorge Rodriguez in goal, weathered six more shot attempts from the Bruins over the final 15¾ minutes to claim the victory.
Domenico Del Prete put the ‘Cats ahead early, scoring off an indirect free kick less than two minutes into the match.
George Fox’s Tyler Dyck answered in the 11th minute, finishing off a play that teammate Luke Hammer started. Hammer fired a shot that Rodriguez stopped but did not completely control, opening the door for Dyck to knock the rebound back into the net.
Rodriguez made a total of five saves on the afternoon to earn his first career conference win. Bruins keeper Ricardo Sotelo made six stops in the loss.
For the match, the teams were about even. George Fox slightly outshot Linfield 18-17, and also held a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Autencio and Del Prete each have three goals on the year, tied for the Wildcat lead…Musser recorded his first career assist…Linfield won for the first time since a 7-0 nonconference victory over Walla Walla back on September 7…the Wildcats topped the Bruins for the fourth straight match…George Fox tied its county rival 1-1 back in September of 2011.
NEXT: The Wildcats take on Pacific Sunday afternoon at Lincoln Stadium, beginning at 2:30 p.m.