Sports

Urgency spurs 70th minute goal for South Whidbey boys soccer

South Whidbey sophomore Bryce Auburn celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the 70th minute against Coupeville on April 16. With him are, from the left, Andy Zisette, Stephen Lyons and Guy Sparkman. The Falcons won 3-1 and clinched the top 1A seed in the Cascade Conference.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
South Whidbey sophomore Bryce Auburn celebrates after scoring the go-ahead goal in the 70th minute against Coupeville on April 16. With him are, from the left, Andy Zisette, Stephen Lyons and Guy Sparkman. The Falcons won 3-1 and clinched the top 1A seed in the Cascade Conference.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Feeling the pressure late, South Whidbey’s offense finally found its fight.

The Falcon soccer team broke away from a 1-1 tie with rival Coupeville in the 70th minute and won 3-1 Tuesday. Speed was the difference for South Whidbey.

Sprinting down the sideline, Falcon sophomore Bryce Auburn beat two defenders and chipped in the go-ahead shot.

“We just wanted a win,” Auburn said. “For our seniors, it’s their last time against our rivals.”

“Normally when I try to do that I try to cross it in, but I couldn’t see anyone.”

Beating Coupeville a second time secured South Whidbey’s spot as the top 1A team in the Cascade Conference.

South Whidbey never trailed in the match. Sam Turpin chased after a deflected shot on the outside and turned it back to the box for senior Stephen Lyons to score in the 16th. 

Celebrations were short for South Whidbey. About a minute later, the Wolves evened the score with a Sean Donley penalty kick from 24 yards that got by Falcon keeper Andrew Holt.

Just prior to the break, senior defender Cameron Coupe wowed the Falcon faithful with a goal-go-goal drive and a saved shot on goal. It was one of the few early bright spots for South Whidbey.

“We weren’t moving up as a team,” Auburn said of the Falcons’ possession woes that led to Coupeville’s goal. “We were just trying to push the ball through.”

Auburn’s go-ahead goal in the 70th started with a major defensive stop. Defender Oliver Saunsaucie chased Nathan Kircher, having pushed past midfield to pressure Coupeville’s defense, stole the ball and sent it down the line. That led to Auburn’s touch on the line, beating a pair of Wolves and drawing keeper Kole Kellison off the line for his open look at the net.

“I was a little high (up field) because the coaches wanted me to play high, so I had to hustle back and challenge him,” Saunsaucie said.

“In the moment, I was celebrating. It was just a good win for the team.”

Once the ball found the back of the net, the Falcons found their grit. Senior Trey Adams had a one-on-one look taken away by Wolf defender Luke Pelant’s slide.

Continuing their pressure, the Falcons were awarded a corner kick. Guy Sparkman sent the ball into the box where Coupeville was able to deflect the first shot, but Lyons stopped it at the 18 and rocketed in his second goal of the night.

The victory brought South Whidbey to within striking distance of third overall behind Archbishop Murphy and Cedarcrest. The deciding game was Friday night against Lakewood, which won 2-0 on March 29.

 

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