McMINNVILLE, Ore. - Despite the charismatic support from the “hooligans” and the rest of the Wildcat fan base, UC-Santa Cruz shut out Linfield 3-0 in a non-conference match-up Saturday night at the Linfield soccer field.
Defense was the key for both teams as the Banana Slugs tallied six total shots to Linfield's four over 90 minutes of play.
The difference was Banana Slugs goalkeeper Nate Levinson, who recorded three vital saves on his way to allowing no goals. Levinson directed a UC-Santa Cruz defense that kept the Wildcats off balance all evening.
In the first half, it was Neal Hetzel who would open the game up for Santa Cruz, scoring in the 19th minute on a pass from Alika Okamitsu.
It didn't take long for the Slugs to strike again.
In a seemingly mirrored image, Okamitsu hit Hetzel yet again for the Slugs second goal of the night in the 21st minute. Their 2-0 lead would carry to the end of the first half.
For Linfield, only three Wildcats managed to get shots on goal. Danny Snelgrow (Sr., Honolulu, Hawaii) led the 'Cats with two of their four total shot attempts. Nizar Tarhuni (Sr., Tigard, Ore.) and Wil Hiles also attempted shots but to no avail.
The UC-Santa Cruz defense continued to stump the Linfield offense in the second half before Ben Middlemiss capped it off for the Slugs, scoring in the 89th minute.
Physicality wasn't an issue for the 'Cats, who were issued three yellow cards, while UC-Santa Cruz was issued one.
NEXT UP: The Wildcats travel to Klamath Falls, Oregon to take Oregon Tech (0-2) Sept. 10 at 7 p.m.
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