NEWBERG, Ore. – For the fourth time this season, Linfield’s two biggest playmakers connected for a game-winning goal, leading the Wildcats to their seventh straight win, a 1-0 shutout of George Fox on the second-to-last Saturday of the Northwest Conference season.
Midway through the second half, Emma Vukic (Soph., Bainbridge Island, Wash.) took a free kick from five yards out, delivering a perfect ball to Emily Fellows (Jr., Portland, Ore.). Linfield’s career goals leader finished the play with a header, raising her season goal total to 15, including six game-winners, and putting the Wildcats up 1-0.
George Fox, which has pushed NWC co-leader Whitworth to the brink twice this season, again rose to the challenge against another one of the league’s top teams. But the Bruins had little going offensively, registering just five shots and earning a single corner kick. Senior midfielder Esther Harder finished with a team-high three attempts at goal.
Linfield, meanwhile, took 15 shots – 10 of which were on frame – and won eight corner kicks.
Defensively, Taylor Collinsworth (Jr., Bend, Ore.) made three saves, including a game-clinching stop with seven seconds on the clock, to earn her seventh clean sheet of the year. George Fox's Ally Swanson made nine stops.
With the win, the Wildcats (14-1-2, 10-1-2 NWC) completed their third sweep of a league opponent, tied single-season program records for wins (14) and shutouts (10) and set a record for consecutive victories (7). But most importantly, the victory kept the ‘Cats tied for first in the NWC team standings. Co-leader Whitworth scored on a penalty kick with 13 seconds remaining to edge Willamette 2-1.
George Fox (2-13-2, 1-12 NWC), meanwhile, dropped its fourth straight match.
‘CAT SCRATCH: Linfield has now won or tied seven straight matches against George Fox, outscoring the Bruins 13-3 during that stretch…Fellows raised her career goal total to 48 and leads the Wildcats with 35 points (15 goals, five assists)…Vukic ranks second with 16 points (six goals, four assists).
FACT OR FICTION: (From last week's game story: In his fourth full season, head coach Dominic Doty is the Wildcats’ all-time wins leader.) Fact. At 53-23-7, Doty has coached the Wildcats to victory more times than any other coach in Linfield women's soccer history.
COMING UP: The Wildcats run up against their final valley opponent, Pacific, Sunday afternoon in Forest Grove. Match time at Lincoln Park Stadium is scheduled for noon.
Sixth game winner of 2012
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