McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Six goals from six different players helped Linfield finish the preseason with a perfect 4-0 mark, as the ‘Cats topped Northwest Christian 6-0 Monday evening at the Linfield soccer field.
The Wildcats dominated possession from the start, and it didn’t take long for them to establish a lead. Just six minutes into the match, Lindzee Baker (Soph., Spokane, Wash.) played a ball over the top into the box and Julia Vaughan (Jr., Haines, Ore.) beat the keeper to make the score 1-0.
The ‘Cats doubled their lead almost immediately, as Madisen Stewart (Soph., Spokane, Wash.) tucked a shot from the right side of the box into the back of the net just minutes later.
After constant pressure on the Beacons’ back line, Emily Fellows (Jr., Portland, Ore.) knocked a loose ball into the back of the net to make the spread 3-0 with 12 minutes to play in the first.
Chrissy Walter (Fr., Eugene, Ore.) contributed her first collegiate goal just two minutes later, increasing the advantage to 4-0.
Linfield’s reserves kept up the pace in the closing minutes of the first half, as a cross from Tegan Grunwald (Fr., Philomath, Ore.) found the right foot of Emma Vukic (Fr., Bainbridge Island, Wash.) for the Wildcats’ fifth goal.
Linfield rarely surrendered possession in the first half, and moved the ball well through the middle and offensive thirds of the field. The ‘Cats outshot the Beacons 19-1 in the first, keeping goalkeeper Melody Bliss busy as she made ten saves.
The ‘Cats came out of the break aggressive, peppering the Beacons with three shots in the opening minutes.
After ten new players entered for Linfield with half an hour to play, Emily Ing (Soph., Hood River, Ore.) tucked a shot from just outside the 18-yard box into the lower right corner of the net, widening the scoring gap even further to 6-0.
Linfield maintained control through the closing minutes, despite a last-minute push from the Beacons. The ‘Cats held tough to finish off their third shutout of the season.
Sabrina Biggers recorded the lone shot for the Beacons, who fell to 1-2-2 on the season.
On the game, the Wildcats outshot NCU 39-1, setting a program record for shots taken in a single match, and won 11 corner kicks. Neither Linfield keeper faced any serious threat, with Collinsworth making one save in the first half.
'CAT SCRATCH: The ‘Cats have outscored their opponents 15-1 through four games in 2012…Linfield has won four games in a row to start the season for the first time since 2003, when the ‘Cats won their first five contests…prior to tonight’s game Northwest Christian had not allowed a goal in 220 straight minutes of play...three Wildcats scored their first career goals in a Linfield uniform, including Walter, Vukic and Ing.
AHEAD: The Wildcats open Northwest Conference play Saturday when Pacific comes to Linfield. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.
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