by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
SPOKANE, Wash. – Moi Diaz scored two goals and assisted on a third to lead Whitworth to a 3-1 win over the Linfield Wildcats.
The win bumps Whitworth's record to 4-6-1 overall and 2-3-1 in the Northwest Conference. Linfield falls to 2-8 and 0-6 in conference.
The match began with another strange goal from a Pirate opponent. After a Whitworth corner kick, Linfield's Ryan Kister got a one-on-one opportunity just past midfield with Blake Hepler. Hepler slipped, allowing Kister to loop a 5th minute goal over the head of Jesus Nunez.
After Kister's goal, Whitworth took control. Diaz slid a pass from the left wing to the middle of the box, where Eric Espinoza powered a shot past Eli Peckham to equalize.
The teams carried the 1-1 score into halftime before Diaz put the match out of reach in the second half.
In the 55th minute, Diaz gave Whitworth the lead. He took a headed pass from Tyler Pangia and beat Peckham for the Pirates' second goal. Then, Diaz struck again, receiving a tapped pass from Jonah Snyder and putting the match away with his second goal.
After knocking in the two goals Diaz has five for the year, which is enough to be tied for third in the NWC. Snyder's assist tied him for second in the NWC with four.
The Pirates finished the match with 24 shots, ten on goal. Linfield managed nine shots, six on goal. Whitworth also led 11-3 in corner kicks, and 6-4 in fouls. The Wildcats received three yellow cards, two on players and one on a coach.
Nunez made five saves, including two at full extension. Peckham saved six shots, and the Wildcats also made a team save.
Next weekend, Whitworth plays just once. The Pirates travel to Walla Walla to take on the Whitman Blues. The match takes place on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.