McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Talk about being in the right place at the right time.
Geoff Kunita (Sr., Honolulu, Hawaii), a two-sport athlete who also competes in baseball at Linfield, scored off a goalpost-deflected shot to lead the Wildcats to a 1-0 nonconference win over visiting Northwest Christian Thursday night at the Linfield soccer field.
With the win, the Wildcats (1-0) avenged a 2-1 loss to the Beacons (1-2) dating back to the second game of the 2010 season.
The way ‘Cats were attacking on offense this time around, the question seemed to be when, not if, the team would score. A relentless Linfield squad peppered Beacon goalkeeper Nick Kratzke with 17 shots, nine of them on target. In contrast, Northwest Christian managed just three shots the entire match.
Yet despite the onslaught, the match remained scoreless after one period.
It wasn’t until a little over a minute into the second half that the Wildcats finally found the back of the net.
After gaining possession of the ball, Michael Swain (Jr., Clackamas, Ore) took aim at the goal, but his attempt bounced off the post. Kunita, who had stayed with the play, found himself with the ball at his feet and plenty of space on the right side of the goal to punch the ball through.
Kratzke picked up the loss for the Beacons. Linfield rookie goalkeepers Scott Goodman (Soph., Newberg, Ore.) and Greg Sander split time in the box, with Sander earning his first career win.
As a result of physical play, the last 30 minutes of the match featured 10 players on each side. A total of five cards were issued, leading to two ejections.
NEXT: Linfield hosts UC-Santa Cruz in another night match Saturday at 7 p.m. A special game-day promotion features free root beer floats at halftime.
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McMinnville, OR 97128