MCMINNVILLE, Ore.—The University of Puget Sound men's soccer team put on a dominating performance on the scoreboard Saturday at Linfield, scoring four goals in a Northwest Conference victory for the Loggers.
Puget Sound scored on its first shot of the day as Vince McCluskey headed in a pass from Carson Swope in the 17th minute. The shot was McClusky's fourth goal of the year and first since Sept. 29 against the Wildcats in Tacoma.
The Loggers kept up the offensive pressure, taking four shots in eight minutes after McCluskey's goal. Linfield goalie Jorge Rodriguez got his hands on three of those shots, and the fourth, an attempt by Swope, sailed over the crossbar and out for a goal kick.
In the final five minutes of the first half, Linfield pressured the Logger defense, taking three shots and earning two corners. Logger keeper Nathan King saved the only shot on goal, however, and the two sides went into the break with a 1-0 Logger lead.
Linfield also took the first three shots of the second half, with King saving attempts by Domenico Del Prete and Nicholas Autencio. After those shots, it was Puget Sound's turn to pressure the Wildcat defense, earning two corner kicks within one minute. In the 64th minute, the Loggers got another goal when a free kick bounced off Linfield's Jake Smith and into the Wildcat net for an own goal.
Nine minutes later, the Loggers added to their lead with a goal by Matthew Durland, who spotted the Linfield keeper off his line and finished into the wide-open net. The goal was Durland's second of the campaign.
Finally, Ryan Rash put a cap on a flurry of Logger shots in the 79th minute, collecting a rebound from a blocked shot by Connor Laferriere and finishing it into the net. With the strike, Rash tallied his first goal on the year and gave the Loggers a four-goal advantage.
Linfield controlled the ball for the final minutes of the match, offering up three shots and one corner kick, but none of the shots found themselves on target and the Loggers held onto the clean sheet, their sixth of the season and second in a row.
The Loggers received tremendous help from their bench during the match as both Rash and Durland scored after coming in as a sub. Also, Theison Chang and Luke Sandbloom took shots after entering the game. In the end, 13 non-starters entered the match for the Loggers, meaning most of the squad received valuable playing time heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
Puget Sound (11-4-0, 9-1-0 NWC) will finish off the road trip with a 2:30 p.m. match at Willamette on Sunday, Oct. 27.