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Falcon boys soccer kicks 4A Cascade

"On Tuesday morning, Mark Helpenstell, South Whidbey High School's head boys soccer coach, still was not exactly sure what he saw on Waterman Field the night before.On the surface it seemed plain enough. In their season opener, the Falcons rode a dominating performance over the visiting Cascade High School team to a 1-0 win Monday night. Considered one of the more powerful 4A soccer programs in the state, Cascade's Bruins matched up against South Whidbey just days after downing 4A Everett 5-1.But instead of chewing up the 2A Falcons, Cascade went home a bruised loser, the victim of what seems to be a contending South Whidbey squad.Coach Helpenstell said he did not expect a victory out of his team's first game. His team was able to jump out to its winning margin in the first half, when Cascade mixed its junior varsity players into the lineup. Though not certain how much that mix changed in the second half, Helpenstell said the Falcons fought off a hard charge by the Bruins to ice an improbable win. I don't know what we saw out there, Helpenstell said. From the opening whistle, the Falcons marked their defensive zone as off limits to the Bruins. Midfielders Josh Mitchell, George Supang, Kevin Brink, Sean Edwards, and Blake Skouras kept the ball largely corralled between the 50 yard line and Cascade's goal. That strategy worked to the benefit of both the offense and defense. Slimmed down from four players to three, the Falcon defense would have had much more running to do had the midfielders not been so effective. As it was, defenders Aaron McCabe, Giles Hamilton, and Josh Gianni were able to easily track down most of the invading Bruins, scoring some key tackles while keeping the ball away from the goal. Goalkeeper Mike Johnson was every bit as prepared as his defenders, holding the Bruins scoreless in more than half a dozen shots on goal.Up front on offense, the team's strikers had nearly complete control of the ball at all times. After working several passing patterns in the first 30 minutes of the game, the Falcons were rewarded on a snappy play in front of the goal. Taking a pass from the sidelines, senior Lane Richards worked the ball to the edge of the goal box, then passed it to last year's scoring champ, Joseph Supang. Wide open just yards from the goal line, Supang put a laser shot past the Bruin goalkeeper to score the winner with more than 50 minutes of playing time left.It was exactly the sort of play coach Helpenstell has been teaching his team for the past few seasons.I was tickled with the goal, he said.Supang's younger brother, George Supang, narrowly missed his chance to join the scoring glory. With just seconds remaining in the first half, the younger Supang came out of the midfield to take a pass from his brother just feet from a wide-open goal. But his short-range shot sailed over the crossbar, robbing him of the score.His coach understood.I've seen World Cup players miss that shot, Helpenstell said.The game's second half was a scoring wasteland for both the teams. Still, the period tested the Falcon's defensive mettle.Cascade played a strong game, Helpenstell said.In junior varsity action, the Falcons lost a 2-1 contest on the road to Sehome last Friday. George Supang scored the lone Falcon goal in the midst of a windy downpour.The varsity Falcons play Sultan Wednesday at Waterman Field at 6 p.m."

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