Falcon boys soccer seniors storm Knights in 5-0 rout

Knight junior keeper Logan Griffis blocks Falcon senior Darby Hayes’ header attempt as Knight freshman defender Bret Matysik closes in during the conference match Friday night.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Knight junior keeper Logan Griffis blocks Falcon senior Darby Hayes’ header attempt as Knight freshman defender Bret Matysik closes in during the conference match Friday night.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

LANGLEY — After a scoring drought, the scoring floodgates the Falcon soccer team opened against the King’s Knights was sweet relief.

South Whidbey ended a two-game scoreless, losing streak by defeating King’s 5-0 on Friday night.

“It feels great,” said Falcon senior midfielder Jimmy Price, who scored his fourth and fifth goals of the season.

The Falcons’ speed, experience and need to win was on display early. In previous matches, the Falcons (4-3 Cascade Conference, 5-3 overall) took only a few shots on goal in the first half before feeling pressured in the second half. Against King’s (5-2 Cascade Conference, 5-4 overall) on Friday, South Whidbey hammered the Knights’ defense with 13 shots on goal and two scores.

Falcon senior forward Noah Moeller scored the first goal in the 17th minute off a missed save by Knight junior goalie Logan Griffis. Moeller scored again 10 minutes later off a corner kick by junior midfielder Guy Sparkman. King’s defense was patched together with young players from the junior varsity team, which caused some mismatches for the Knights.

“They were kind of doing a man-marking thing and also they would put one guy back, which allows us to keep going farther and farther back and push them into their own side,” Moeller said.

The Cascade Conference match stopped for 15 minutes when Knight freshman midfielder Svenn Helleren collapsed after crashing into Falcon sophomore forward James Young. Helleren, who wore a brace on his right knee, yelled “My knee is out,” and had to be taken off the field by Whidbey General Hospital EMS responders.

King’s midfielders and two of the most-experienced players, Cort Thoreson and Rocko Menzyk, were forced to play behind the midfield line to surround South Whidbey’s forwards. Falcon forwards James Young, Stephen Lyons, Moeller and Price sprinted along the sidelines and through the middle to get open and take more than a dozen shots combined. Young, a sophomore, scored in the 47th minute on a break from the left corner of the box into the right side of the net for a 3-0 South Whidbey lead.

“In the last two games, we’ve been trying to play a strategy,” said Falcon head coach Joel Gerlach. “Today it came together.”

Defensively, the Falcons controlled the midfield and allowed only three shots on goal. Falcon defenders like junior Cameron Coupe were able to play 20 yards in front of their goal and pick off any long kicks by the Knights. The victory was the second game junior Andrew Holt had played goalie for the Falcons in place of senior Garret Thomson who was away during South Whidbey’s spring break. Coupe said the defense played better with sophomore Calvin Shimada healthy again and Holt more comfortable at the net.

“The outside defenders pushed up,” Coupe said.

“We played pretty good. It took a little while to get together.”

For South Whidbey, it helped the Falcon midfielders moved the ball effectively. Sparkman and junior Connor McCauley, who played defense against Cedarcrest in the previous match, rotated, dribbled and passed cleanly to the forwards along the sideline.

“Connor McCauley kind of owned the midfield,” Gerlach said. “It’s a learning experience for me trying to find the best spot for each player.”

Price scored the fourth goal of the night off an assist from Moeller who faked catching the ball with his chest. A pair of Knights defenders collapsed on him, leaving Price open. Without looking and with his back to the goal, Moeller passed the ball to Price with his heel for the assist in the 63rd minute.

“I was playing good to the outside, and we crossed it inside,” Price said.

“They looked kind of confused out there.”

In the 79th minute, Price chipped in the final goal on a pass from Lyons.

Though the Falcons ended the losing streak, the road ahead wasn’t easy. South Whidbey’s next match was on the road against undefeated Archbishop Murphy, the league’s top team, on Monday, April 9. The Wildcats remained undefeated (7-0 Cascade Conference, 8-0 overall) after a 1-0 win on a late goal by Alex Kramer in the 62nd minute. It was only the second time this season the Wildcats scored only one goal, the other being a 1-0 victory against the Cedarcrest Red Wolves.

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