WALLA WALLA - Winning its fourth consecutive game, Whitman College kept its hopes alive for a Northwest Conference men's soccer title by knocking off Linfield College 3-1 in a steady rain at the Whitman Athletic Fields Saturday.
Whitman, now is 7-3-2 in the NWC and 9-6-3 overall, heads to today's play in third place match, just one point behind Pacific Lutheran (8-4 NWC, 9-7-1) and three points behind first-place Pacific (8-2-2, 12-2-3).
After junior Sam Freedman opened the scoring for Whitman in the sixth minute, senior Conner Bottomly added two more goals - one later in the half and one early in the second stanza - to stretch the Missionary lead to 3-0.
Linfield's Abel DeVos scored off a corner kick with less than minutes left in the game to spoil the shutout for Whitman keeper Michael Bathurst.
While Whitman led from start to finish, the two sides amassed almost identical shot totals. Linfield put four of its 15 shots on goal, while the Missionaries put five of 14 on frame.
Both Bathurst and Linfield keeper Cody Tipton made three saves.
Freedman booted his team-leading seventh goal of the season early in the game after sophomore Leland Matthaeus fed a ball into the box. It was the fifth assist of the season for Matthaeus, who also has five goals.
Whitman jumped its lead to 2-0 in the 38th minute when Bottomly hammered his fifth goal of the season from 10 yards out. Senior Brian Percival collected his fourth assist of the fall on the play.
Eight minutes into the second half, Bottomly drilled his second goal of the day on a penalty kick.
Whitman hosts Willamette at 2:30 p.m.