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Falcons kick their way into final four

"Playoffs continue Friday morningThe Falcon soccer team plays Friday, May 26 at 9 a.m. against Riverside High School. The playing field is located at 800 E. 40th St. in Vancouver, Wash. If they win that game, they will play in the championship game Saturday at 3 p.m. If they lose, they will play in a third place game at 9 a.m. Directions to the play field are available through the athletic department at South Whidbey High School, 221-4300.Falcons beat Washougal, 2-1Even though it is what they have dreamed about all spring, South Whidbey's boy soccer players may have surprised even themselves a little last weekend when they won a state quarterfinal game against Washougal to break into this year's Class 2A final four.The Falcons handled Washougal 2-1 in Camas Saturday afternoon and guaranteed themselves at least a fourth-place state trophy. On Friday, the Falcons will play Riverside in Vancouver, Wash. for the right to go on to the state championship game.Against Washougal, South Whidbey owned the field from the opening whistle, pinning Washougal's defense into its own zone with 24 goal shots throughout the game. Washougal's offense could muster only 14 shots against the Falcon defensive trio of Josh Gianni, Aaron McCabe, and Giles Hamilton.Coach Mark Helpenstell said his players took advantage of Washougal's obvious, pre-game overconfidence.It was apparent 20 minutes in that we were in control of the field, Helpenstell said.But to score, the Falcons had to resort to duplicity. In the game's early minutes, senior Falcon Joseph Supang broke through Washougal's defense to take two booming shots on goal that went just wide. For the rest of the game, Supang found himself mired in double and triple coverage.Even though their leading scorer was tied up for most of regulation, the situation played to South Whidbey's advantage. Like they did in a playoff game against Lynden Christian two weeks ago, the Falcons kept their other strikers free and in front of the goal as Supang drew defensive fire. Twenty-one minutes into the game, the strategy paid dividends, when Supang sent a pass through his defenders to the goalkeeper's box, where freshman Abe Smith-Groening was waiting. With Washougal's goalkeeper out of position, the scoring kick was almost a formality.It was an easy, walk-in goal, said Helpenstell.Six minutes into the second half, South Whidbey rang up its second score, when senior Topi Manu boomed a Supang pass from 25 yards out toward the Washoogal goal. The shot karoomed off the crossbar, but junior Sean Edwards was waiting. Avoiding the goalkeeper, he put the ball into the back of the net for his first score of the season.Washougal registered its lone goal of the game in the 79th minute, when one of its strikers just beat backup Falcon goalkeeper Craig Peterson. By then, however, it was too late for Washougal.<"

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