SPOKANE, Wash. – Will Wren headed in a pair of goals to lead 16th-ranked Whitworth to a 2-0 win over visiting Linfield on Saturday in the Northwest Conference men's soccer opener for both schools.
The Pirates improved to 4-0-1 while the Wildcats dropped to 2-2.
Wren's first goal came when he headed in a free kick from the left sideline served up by Mike Chavez in the 15th minute. It was not only Wren's first goal of the season, it was the first of his career.
The 6-5 junior then elevated to head in a corner kick by Anders Nostdahl in the 26th minute for a 2-0 Pirate advantage.
"It was good to get our first goals off of set play situations," said Whitworth head coach Sean Bushey. "Will had a good day. We hope he and others will have more in the future."
Those two goals were all the offense Whitworth would need against Linfield as the Pirate defense limited the Wildcats to only two total shots, none of which were on goal. Whitworth keeper Kyle Novak did not have to make a single save to post his fourth shutout of the season.
The Pirates have allowed only one goal in five matches in 2012.
Linfield keeper Scott Goodman did heroic work keeping the score only 2-0. He made eight saves, many of which were difficult stops. Goodman made three saves on shots by Wren in the second half as Wren was looking to post a hat trick.
The Pirates finished with a 22-2 advantage in overall shots, 11-0 in shots on goal.
"It was a positive start to conference play and I thought we had some very good moments of soccer," Bushey said. "We would have liked to have been a little more efficient in our finishing, but Linfield worked hard and their keeper had an outstanding game."
Whitworth will look to extend its unbeaten run to six matches this season when the Pirates host Willamette on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Meanwhile Linfield heads to Walla Walla to take on Whitman.