SALEM, Ore. – Emma Vukic tallied her first goal of the season and Emily Fellows followed up with a second half, game-winning goal as Linfield staved off a late rally from homestanding Corban and escaped with a 2-1 victory Saturday afternoon at Warrior Field.
Corban (2-4-1) earned three corner kicks and a great look at goal from senior Audrey Sullivan in the final minute, but the Linfield defense held tough, deflecting a header from Sullivan and another corner from Ashley Beykovsky back over the end line before clearing the final attempt from the goal as the final buzzer sounded.
By denying a game-tying score, the Wildcats not only avoided overtime, but also improved to 4-0 on the year, including 3-0 against Cascade Conference opponents, heading into the Northwest Conference season.
Kallina Haase stood in goal all 90 minutes for the ‘Cats, making a pair of saves in the win.
The clubs kept each other in check offensively until the 26th minute, when Vukic’s corner kick flew up and over everyone and into the far right corner to give Linfield a 1-0 advantage.
Fellows rang up her sixth goal of the year in the 51st minute, spinning around her Corban defender before launching a shot past Corban keeper Kaitlyn Mendenhall from 10 yards out.
Exactly three minutes later, Sullivan pulled the Warriors within striking distance with her team-leading third goal of the season. After dribbling past Haase, the senior collected the ball between a pair of Linfield defenders and flicked it into the net from a distance of five yards.
Late in the second half, Linfield had opportunities to gain some breathing room, but consecutive headers from Fellows were both saved by Mendenhall. Fortunately for the Wildcats, Corban’s last-gasp offensive barrage did not pay off.
NEXT: Linfield and Pacific open the Northwest Conference season Wednesday evening in McMinnville. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at the Linfield soccer field.