McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Scoring thrice within 20 minutes of the opening whistle, Linfield made quick work of visiting Howard Payne en route to an eventual 5-0 victory Saturday evening at the Linfield soccer field.
The Wildcats (2-0) dominated possession in the first half, getting four different scorers on 10 total shots while holding the Yellow Jackets (0-2) without a single look at the goal.
At the end of 90 minutes, Howard Payne held a slight advantage in corner kicks (4-3) but the Yellow Jackets were completely outmatched in terms of scoring opportunities, taking just one shot compared to 19 for Linfield.
After waiting until midway through the second half before scoring in Friday’s season opener against Warner Pacific, Linfield wasted little time lighting up the scoreboard against the Yellow Jackets. In the 10th minute, Ellie Schmidt sent in a cross from the left side of the box to Emily Fellows, who one-touched the ball into the net to give Linfield the early 1-0 advantage.
Molly McCool added another tally – her second collegiate goal – just 4 ½ minutes later with a high-arching shot from about 15 yards out.
With an assist already attributed to her stat line, Schmidt decided to get in on the scoring action, too. After gaining possession at the top of the penalty box, she dribbled left to gain the advantage before shooting the ball into the far corner to push the Wildcat lead to 3-0.
Another cross from Schmidt put Tegan Grunwald in scoring position near the right post, but Howard Payne goalkeeper Adrienne Walker was there to save the sophomore Wildcats’ header.
Emily Ing moved the spread to four goals with a hard-hit ball from the left side in the 39th minute.
With the lead firmly in hand, Linfield head coach Dominic Doty was able to substitute liberally; 22 different players logged minutes in the opening period and a total of 24 had done so by the end of the match.
Recharged after the halftime break, Howard Payne put some pressure on the Wildcats with a series of corner kicks around the 49th minute. Though the Linfield defense had some difficulty clearing the ball, the Yellow Jackets failed to capitalize on any of their set pieces. Erica Lopez managed to fire off the lone shot of the game for Howard Payne, but Amy Hammerquist was there to make the save.
With about 24 minutes to go, the Yellow Jackets earned another prime scoring opportunity on a free kick. Hammerquist, who started the second half, quickly scooped the ball up, however, and Linfield charged down the field, looking for more. The Wildcats earned a free kick of their own, but Fellows’ shot from the top of the penalty box went wide left.
Despite passing the ball well and taking a few more shots at the goal, Linfield did not score again until late in the second half. On the attack again, Sara Miller blitzed down the right sideline. She served the ball in to Laurel Huth, who took two dribbles before drilling Linfield’s fifth goal into the back of the net.
UP NEXT: Linfield has two weeks off before its next live competition, Sept. 11 and Sept. 14 against Oregon Tech and Corban, respectively. Both matches are away contests.