Sports & Outdoors

Loggers end season with an upset against rivals PLU

The Loggers persevered through an offensive and defensive battle on Saturday, Nov. 5 and ended their season with a 1-0 upset against the No. 19 Pacific Lutheran Lutes.  Assisted by sophomore Landon Gauthier (Fox Island, Wash.), sophomore Colin McIntosh (Olympia, Wash.) found the back of the net early in the game.

In the 13th minute, McIntosh tapped the ball in from Gauthier’s corner kick.  Senior Terrence Blackburn (Tacoma, Wash.) was pleased with the team’s efforts.

“We knew we had to score first because Pacific Lutheran is such an explosive team; by getting the first goal it would give us a better chance to win. Landon played a great ball across the box and Colin made a great run to finish it off,” Blackburn said.

The Loggers were able to make their opportunities count in front of the goal.

“Attacking wise, we executed really well. When we got our opportunities, we made them count, and although the score might not reflect that, we showed some good character to get in front of goal and put the game away,” Gauthier said.

Junior Chris McDonald (Newton, Mass.) made five saves in goal to preserve the shutout. Despite the fact that the Lutes outshot the Loggers 11-8, they could not  slot the ball past McDonald.  “Chris made some amazing saves that I still believe were unreal,” Blackburn said.

Blackburn, along with the other two seniors Marcus Rudd (Seattle, Wash.) and Peter Russell (Beavercreek, Ore.), helped the team win their fifth straight game to finish the 2011 season with an 11-6-0 record and a 10-4-0 record in the Northwest Conference.

Even though this game ends the Loggers’ 2011 season, they will be returning nine experienced starters in 2012.

“In terms of leadership, I think we’re in a good spot. The whole squad understands the expectations that Peter, Marcus and Terence have exhibited this year. Winning a conference title is what matters most, and I think we see just how hard we’ll have to work to get that goal,” Gauthier said.  As a senior, Blackburn has equally high hopes for the future of the program. “I have a lot of confidence in the nine returning players and know that each one will individually take a leadership role. They know that it is their responsibility to make sure this team battles next year to achieve the ultimate goal of winning a conference championship,” Blackburn said.

After winning an intense match against their rivals, the Loggers are enthusiastic about next season.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity to play the game I love and do so at a high level. I can’t wait. I’m getting restless just thinking about it,” Gauthier said.