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November 5, 2011

PLU Can't Find a Way Past Puget Sound, Loses 1-0

Pacific Lutheran's prolific offense couldn't find a way to get past the Puget Sound defense led by goalkeeper Chris McDonald, and as a result the Lutes were shut out for the first time this year in a 1-0 Northwest Conference men's soccer loss on Saturday afternoon.

Despite seeing its school-record 11-match winning streak come to an end, the Lutes finished the regular season 12-2 in the Northwest Conference and as co-champions with Whitworth. PLU earns the NWC's automatic berth in the NCAA Division III postseason tournament, however, based on a pair of victories over the Pirates this season.

The Lutes, now 15-3 overall, will find out on Monday morning who, and where, they will play in the opening round of the national tournament.

Puget Sound scored the only goal of the match in the 13th minute, and McDonald made it stand up with a number of stellar saves.

Colin McIntosh scored his third goal of the season on a scramble in the six-yard box following Landon Gauthier's corner kick just 12:10 into the match. The goal came with the run of play, and the Loggers continued to press the Lutes, finishing the first half with a 7-2 advantage in shots.

After their slow start, the Lutes showed their quality in the final 45 minutes, but they couldn't come up with the tying goal despite putting six of their nine shots on frame. McDonald made all six of his saves in the final period, including stopping a penalty kick by Chad Kearns in the 80th minute.

McDonald also benefited from the goalkeeper's best friend, the woodwork, when Spencer Augustin's 73rd minute header ricocheted off the crossbar.

The Lutes finished with an 11-9 advantage in shots and a 6-4 margin in corner kicks. McDonald was up to the task, however, shutting out a PLU offense that came in averaging more than three goals per match.

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