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Pacific booters take over first place

soccer -- Boxers take down Linfield 2-1 on a late goal by Brandon Porter and slide into first place in the conference

Pacific moved into first place in the Northwest Conference men's soccer standings with a thrilling 2-1 triumph over Linfield on Wednesday afternoon.

Freshman Brandon Porter scored the go-ahead goal for Pacific (8-2-1, 5-2-1) in the 82nd minute, heading in a corner kick from Derek Atta to propel the Boxers to victory. The win, coupled with Puget Sound's 1-1 tie against Pacific Lutheran, launched Pacific into first place with 16 points.

Linfield (6-4-2, 3-3-2) outshot Pacific 17-7 in the game and held a 5-3 advantage in corner kicks, but it was the Boxers' stingy defense that helped the team to its first victory over Linfield since the 1999 season.

Pacific senior Matt McDonough scored his league-leading ninth goal of the season in the 24th minute, tracking down a loose ball in the box and banging it home for a 1-0 Pacific lead.

Linfield knotted things up just six minutes later. Nick Jauregui checked into the game in the 27th minute and caught the Pacific defense napping two minutes later, taking a cross from Thomas Ryan and beating Pacific keeper Jory Shene to even the score at 1-1.

The two teams would play 52 minutes of scoreless soccer before Porter broke the tie with his first collegiate goal. The freshman streaked into the box on Atta's corner kick from the right side and headed a shot past Linfield keeper Grant Williams.

The Wildcats surged forward in the final eight minutes, mounting a hard charge to tie the game. Mike Grabast nearly did just that, hammering a shot from about 15 yards out, but the ball clanged off the right post and fell harmlessly at Shene's feet.

Shene, the reigning Northwest Conference Defensive Player of the Week, recorded six saves in the winning effort.

Williams made three saves in goal for Linfield.