by Andrew Goodwin, Sports Information Assistant
McMINNVILLE, Ore. – Whitworth men's soccer started the second half of the season on the right foot, using another stellar performance by Moi Diaz to secure a 3-0 victory over Linfield.
The win moves Pirates up to a .500 winning percentage overall at 5-5-1 and bumps them over the same threshold in conference play at 4-3-1. Linfield falls to 0-8 in the Northwest Conference and 2-10 overall.
Diaz kicked off the scoring for the Pirates in the sixth minute. The Linfield transfer intercepted a back pass and deposited a shot in the back of the net for his third goal against the Wildcats this season.
The goal total would be extended to four against the Wildcats just 20 minutes later. Eric Espinoza found Diaz 18 yards from the goal, and Diaz fired a near-post shot in to make it 2-0.
The scoreboard painted an accurate picture of the match's first half with Whitworth firmly in control. The Pirates finished the first half with an 11-5 advantage in shots and 5-1 lead in shots on goal.
Whitworth refused to take its foot off the gas in the second half, boosting the lead to three goals on a Jonah Snyder penalty kick. The goal was Snyder's sixth of the season, putting him in third in the NWC. Diaz sits in second with seven goals.
After Snyder's goal, the Wildcats got their offense up and running. Linfield peppered Jesus Nunez with 14 second half shots and five were on goal. However, Nunez wouldn't be beaten and took home his first full shutout of the season.
As a result of Linfield's shot-happy second half, the Wildcats finished the match with a 19-16 advantage in shots. The Pirates took one more shot on goal than Linfield, ending the match with a 7-6 edge. The Wildcats took seven corner kicks to Whitworth's one, and the teams combined for 34 fouls.
Two of Whitworth's wins in the current three-match win streak have come against Linfield with a win over Whitman in between.
Up next, Whitworth travels to Salem, Ore. looking to avenge a 3-1 early season loss to Willamette. The match begins at 2:30 p.m.