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Freshmen team up to lead Boxers win

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Published:2015-11-03 Sports
Freshmen team up to lead Boxers win    Print Snohomish Times    
Freshmen team up to lead Boxers win

— It was Senior Day at Pacific's Hanson Stadium but it was a pair of freshmen who led the Boxers to a 1-0 upset win over Puget Sound in men's soccer action on Sunday afternoon.

Rookie Keola Norton took a through pass from fellow newcomer Shawn Opfer early in the second half and rifled it past UPS keeper Daniel Kirsch for what would turn out to be the winning goal in a defensive battle in the final home match of the season for Pacific. It was Norton's second goal of the season and the biggest one of his young career.

With the victory over the third place Loggers, Pacific improved to 4-8-1 in the Northwest Conference and to 6-11-1 overall. Puget Sound dropped to 7-4-2 in conference action and to 9-7-2 on the year.

Pacific honored its three seniors prior to the match — Harrison Clair, Lee Arakawa and Kellan McNamara. While McNamara played a key role on defense, it was Norton who made the difference maker off a beautiful feed from Opfer.

"Keola got the start today because he has practiced very well lately," said Boxer head coach Eric Mild. "It was nice that he took full advantage of the opportunity."

Defense ruled the rest of the day, as both teams had only three shots on goal. Pacific keeper Leyton Thommasen had three saves and recorded the shutout, his fourth of the season.

"We played a very intense game defensively," Mild added. "We did a very good job of defending their set pieces and that was important because they (Puget Sound) are very dangerous in those situations. Elan Yogi  and Gunnar Swenson were were outstanding in the back. It's nice to see the guys rewarded for their hard work."

The Boxers will put a wrap on the 2015 season next Saturday on the road at George Fox. Start time in Newberg will be 1:30 p.m.

"We have a chance to finish in the top four with a strong finish and a little help," Mild stated. "That has been our goal from day one and it is nice to still have that opportunity heading into the final match."




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