McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Em & Em (Vukic and Fellows) scored a goal each to power Linfield to a 2-0 Northwest Conference victory over Pacific University Saturday afternoon at the Linfield soccer field.
Emma Vukic contributed her second goal of the season in the first half, and Emily Fellows sealed the deal in the second. Defensively, keeper Taylor Collinsworth helped the ‘Cats, ranked 23rd in the latest d3soccer.com national poll, to their fourth shutout and fifth overall victory in as many games.
The Boxers (3-1-2, 1-1 NWC) won an early corner kick and Kaitlyn Harper sent in a nice cross with her left foot. Collinsworth was all over it, punching the ball clear to prevent a shot.
The Wildcats handled Pacific’s offense early on, as the Boxers built their attack with a combination of through passes and long balls over the top.
With 20 minutes to play in the first, the ‘Cats nearly took the lead when a cross from Anna Sours found the head of Vukic. The shot was on target but Boxers keeper Brittany Hartmann dove to make the stop.
It didn’t take long for Vukic to strike again. Just two minutes later, the true freshman curled a shot from the top of the box into the right upper corner to give the ‘Cats a 1-0 lead.
Linfield kept the pressure on for the rest of the half, controlling the ball in their offensive third of the field. The ‘Cats outshot Pacific 6-2 in the first half, keeping the heat on Hartmann. Linfield’s advantage showed within its ball movement, as the teams were nearly dead even statistically. Each side had one save, one corner, and two fouls through the first 45 minutes.
With 27 minutes to play, Stephanie Socotch sent a cross in from the left side to Fellows, who finished it with her head to double Linfield’s lead.
Pacific nearly responded a minute later. Sarah Tuffey got behind the Wildcats’ back line, but Collinsworth came off her line and slid to knock the ball away and prevent a close-range shot.
With ten minutes remaining, Fellows almost scored again but a sliding save from Hartmann kept the score at 2-0. Linfield closed out the final minutes holding strong defensively, maintaining the 2-0 advantage until the final whistle.
The Wildcats out shot Pacific 10-2 in the second half and 16-4 overall. Linfield also won four corner kicks compared to one for Pacific.
NEXT UP: The ‘Cats take on George Fox Sunday in more league play. Game time is scheduled for noon at the Linfield soccer field.