NEWBERG, Ore. – Geoff Kunita had a hand, or foot, in both goals as Linfield notched its first Northwest Conference win with a 2-1 defeat over George Fox Sunday afternoon at the Austin Sports Complex.
The Wildcats (2-9-1, 1-7-1 NWC) and Bruins (2-10-1, 0-8-1 NWC) both entered the match looking for their first league victory. The clubs had battled to a 1-1 tie in the first game between the Yamhill Country rivals.
In the rematch, it was George Fox that scored first on a Luke Hammer goal in the 28th minute. Michael Graham crossed the ball from the right side of the box to Hammer, who knocked the ball into the left corner from close range.
A little more than a minute later, Eric Gutierrez answered with his first career goal. Kunita dribbled to the baseline, drawing the attention of Bruin keeper Elliot Davis and a pair of defenders. The Wildcat forward crossed the ball to a cutting Gutierrez, who easily converted the shot into a wide-open net.
Linfield put up nine more shots in the second period, but just three were on target. As the clock wound down, it looked as though the match would again head to overtime.
Xavier Reed had other ideas. The freshman received a pass from Kunita on a corner kick and headed the ball into the goal from five yards out for what would be the game-winning score.
Linfield significantly outshot George Fox 18-5 for the game, including a 6-0 advantage over the first 25 minutes. The ‘Cats also won the corner kick battle, 4-3.
Cody Tipton made one save to earn his first win of the season. Davis made four saves for George Fox but gave up both goals to pick up the loss.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield also broke a stretch of four consecutive shutouts…the two goals were the most scored in a single match by Linfield all season…Reed became the team’s leading scorer with two goals on the year.
NEXT: The Wildcats host back-to-back home games Saturday and Sunday against both clubs from Tacoma. Match times against Puget Sound (Saturday) and Pacific Lutheran (Sunday) are both 2:30 p.m.
First career goal ties the match
Director of Sports Information
McMinnville, OR 97128