The Northwest Conference season began last weekend, the 18 and 19 of September, and in the rain and shine, the varsity men’s soccer team pulled through with a pair of weekend victories against Linfield and Willamette.
“We only have one senior and four juniors on our roster, so each game we feel we are gaining valuable experiences that get us closer to becoming a team that can compete for a conference championship,” Coach Reece Olney said.
Although the team is young and they have not been playing with each other long, the team plays as one cohesive unit. The freshmen are talented additions to the team and will prove beneficial as conference play continues.
“They [the freshmen] put across the message we want to present to the school. They are hardworking, smart and they have the talent and the experience necessary for the team to do well this season,” said senior Kyle Benson (Lynwood, Wash.)
“I have enjoyed every moment with the team. From preseason up until now it has been very inspiring,” freshman Landon Gauthier (Fox Island, Wash.) said.
The first game of Northwest Conference play continued the Loggers’ successful season. The Loggers’ two first half goals allowed the team to defend home field against the Wildcats with a 2-1 victory.
Linfield dominated the field in the first few minutes of the game with nine goal attempts. However, momentum increased as Gauthier took a penalty kicked and put the Loggers on the board with a 1-0 lead.
As the first half was winding down, the ball was placed in the box. There was a scramble for possession, but freshman Andrew White (Steamboat Springs, Colo.) was able to push the ball to the back of the net as the half-time buzzer sounded.
Linfield made their first goal in the 80th minute of the game but were unable to push past the Loggers’ strong defense and the talent of the Logger goalkeeper, sophomore Christopher McDonald (Newton, Mass.)
The Loggers continued a 2-0 weekend with their victory over Willamette on 19 September. Willamette played a defensive game during the first half, only allowing the Loggers to make three attempts at goals.
The second half of play proved tense, with each team vying to be on the board. A foul outside the box placed the ball with Gauthier, who found junior Peter Russell (Beavercreek, Ore.) to the left of the box. Russel crossed the ball to Benson, who drove the ball into the net for the first goal of the game.
Pressure from Willamette increased, but the Loggers responded by adding another point to the board. Sophomore Ryan Rash (Federal Way, Wash.) placed the ball perfectly into the upper left-hand corner of the net.
The Bearcats were unable to counter the 2-0 cushion the Loggers held. The Loggers earned their fourth shutout of the season.
The Loggers will continue Northwest Conference play away against Whitworth this weekend.