WALLA WALLA, Wash. – Whitman made quick work of Linfield Sunday afternoon, scoring twice over the first 33 ½ minutes to down the Wildcats 2-0 in a Northwest Conference men’s soccer matchup at the Whitman Athletic Fields.
The Missionaries scored on the second major play of the match. Less than a minute after the home team put its first shot on frame – a save for Linfield keeper Scott Goodman – midfielder Junpei Tsuji lined up for a corner kick. The ball crossed through the box, where it was tapped in by Cooper Schumacher just eight minutes into the first half.
Six shot attempts later, Sam Freedman scored his third goal of the season to put the Missionaries up 2-0 in the 34th minute. Tsuji again set up the play, pushing the ball ahead of Freedman, who beat his defenders and launched a shot past Goodman.
Whitman continued to pound the opposing defense, totaling 11 shots, seven of which were on-target, in the first period alone. Linfield, meanwhile, saw just three shot opportunities over the 45-minute span.
Overall, the Missionaries quadrupled the shot attempts of the Wildcats by a margin of 24-6, and also held the advantage in corner kicks, 5-0.
On a positive note, despite the barrage of shots, the Linfield defense held the Poets scoreless over the final 56:39. But without any offensive production, a win again eluded the Wildcats.
Xavier Reed came closest to scoring for Linfield, but his 29th-minute header was stopped by Whitman goalie Michael Bathurst. In addition to Reed’s team-high three shot attempts, Danny Snelgrow had two shots and Wil Hiles added one to lead the ‘Cats offensively.
The Missionaries, winners of four straight, remain tied for third place in the Northwest Conference with a 9-4 league record and 9-7-2 overall win-loss mark. The seventh-place ‘Cats have now lost four straight and sit at 1-11-1 in conference play and 2-13-1 overall.
COMING UP: Linfield hosts Pacific Lutheran in its final regular-season match Saturday at 2:30 p.m. Three seniors will be honored before the match: Hiles, Kyle Brouse and Zach Farrington.
Team-high three shots
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