TACOMA, Wash.—The Puget Sound men's soccer team weathered blustery conditions and a physical George Fox team, clinching the Northwest Conference title Saturday on Peyton Field in Tacoma, Wash.
The Loggers opened the match with a significant advantage: playing with the wind in the first half. Puget Sound took advantage of the help, earning a corner kick a minute and a half into the match. Eneko Bereziartua fired the ball into play, and it curved directly into the goal for Bereziartua's first goal of the season.
The Loggers kept up pressure, tallying another corner just 45 seconds after the goal. The next Puget Sound shot came in the 10th minute, when Colin McIntosh fired an attempt, but George Fox goalie Luke Ridder saved it. Ridder tallied another save when he got his hands on a shot by Logger midfielder Sam Zisette.
In the 27th minute, the Loggers received a penalty kick after George Fox was whistled for a penalty inside the goal box. Carson Swope stepped up to take the freebie and promptly buried it, tallying his conference-leading 12th goal in the process.
After Swope's goal, the Loggers registered four more shots in the period. Nicholas Campanelli saw an attempt saved by Ridder in the 36th minute and another quality shot blocked in the 41st.
The Bruins tallied two shots in the first period, that coming in the 19th minute. For the first one, Angelo Florez was coming hard into the near post and received a cross. Florez's touch, however, sent the ball just wide of the goal mouth and out for a Logger goal kick. Florez also tallied George Fox's second shot of the period at 38:50, sending a ball straight into the arms of Logger keeper Nathan King.
After the halftime break, Campanelli tried to add to the Logger lead, finding another shot on goal just 45 seconds into the half. Ridder saved it, his fourth save of the match. The Loggers threatened again in the 53rd minute when Campaneli hit the post with a shot. The rebound was collected by Connor LaFerriere and shot on target, but Ridder came up big again, tallying his fifth and final save of the night.
During the second half, the Logger defense again limited George Fox to just two shots. Ulysus Torres fired an attempt that went wide in the 68th minute and one by Miguel Loepz Ixta saw a shot blocked in the 84th minute. By keeping the Bruins out of the Logger net, the Puget Sound defense kept its sixth shutout and fourth in a row.
The Loggers did their part by taking three points Saturday, but they had to wait for a result from Spokane, Wash., where Whitworth and Willamette were squaring off. Whitworth had to win each of their three games remaining to have a chance at the conference title, but that possibility was eliminated immediately after the Pirates and Bearcats drew even at one goal apiece.
With the results, Puget Sound clinched its fourth NWC title under head coach Reece Olney. They hadn't won since 2006, however, and snapped a seven-year title drought. "It's nice to bring a fourth Northwest Conference men's soccer championship back to Puget Sound, but the players deserve all the credit," said Olney about his team's title. "They've done everything required all season long and earned the right to be called champions."
With the conference title in hand, the Loggers (13-4, 11-1 NWC) sent their seniors off right and wrapped up their home schedule on Sunday, Nov. 3 with a 3-0 win over George Fox. Before the match, the Loggers honored the squad's 11 seniors and recognized them for their service to Logger soccer and to University of Puget Sound as a whole.
TACOMA, Wash.—With a victory over Linfield Sunday, the Puget Sound women's soccer team took the Northwest Conference lead with just two matches remaining.
The Loggers got on the scoreboard with their first shot of the game when midfielder Amalia Acorda-Fey buried a low cross from forward Robin Vieira just the second minute of the match. At just two minutes into the match, it was the fastest goal the Loggers have scored this season.
One minute later goalie Casey Thayer, making her final career start at Peyton Field, tallied her first of three saves, knocking down a header from Linfield's Ellie Schmidt. The ball bounced in front of Thayer for a couple seconds, but she hopped on the loose ball to prevent any more Wildcat attempts.
Puget Sound added its second goal of the game in the 20th minute on a play much like the one their first score came on. This time, however, it was Kylie Beeson with the ball by the touchline. She fired an aerial cross to Acorda-Fey on the far post who put it in again for her second goal of the match. With the brace, Acorda-Fey has now scored two goals twice this season.
Much of the first half was played at midfield as neither team was solid in the attacking third of the pitch. Despite possessing the ball a bit more, the Loggers only registered two shots in the first half—their two goals—and Linfield saw four attempts, three of which were on net.
Just half a minute into the second half, Acorda-Fey sent a shot wide of the net, registering her third shot the day. The Wildcats responded with a great opportunity in the 49th minute when Lindzee Baker found herself one-on-one with new Puget Sound keeper Lauren Thomas. The attack was whistled offside, however, and the Loggers were spared a difficult situation.
After the play called offside, Puget Sound tallied two shots, an attempt wide by Cassie Winter and another Acorda-Fey shot that went wide as well. Frenzied moments insued just a minute later when Linfield saw two shots in a span of eight seconds. Linfield's Baker put a shot on goal to see it knocked off the line by a Logger defender, then Schmidt knocked the rebound wide of the goalmouth and out for a goal kick.
The Wildcats tallied one last shot on goal in the 81st minute, when Thomas came up and grabbed a shot from the Wildcats' Molly McCool.
In all, the Loggers took seven shots, two on frame, while Linfield put up nine shots, six on target. Thayer led all keepers with three saves, while Thomas added two and the Logger defense earned a team save, while Linfield keeper Kallina Haase didn't make a save, but only saw two shots on frame against.
"Being able to get two goals early was key," said Puget Sound head coach Randy Hanson. Give Linfield credit, they're a very formidable attacking team and the weekend was hard on them; they played yesterday and we did not. So getting two early goals was key and the longer things go, the tougher it is to make a comeback. I was really proud of our team, the way we managed the game at the end."
The Logger defense kept prolific Linfield forward Emily Fellows off the scoresheet for only the fourth time this season. Fellows, who leads the conference with 19 goals scored, tallied only one shot the entire match. The shutout is Puget Sound's 12th of the season and seventh in its last eight matches.
Puget Sound (13-2-2, 11-1-2 NWC) will close out the regular season next weekend by traveling to Pacific and Lewis and Clark. The Loggers head to Forest Grove, Ore., for a showdown with the Boxers on Friday, Nov. 8, while wrapping up the regular season on Saturday, Nov. 9 at Lewis and Clark. Both matches will start at 11:00 a.m.