Playing with the district title on the line, the Falcons were swatted away from any shot by the Lynden Christian Lyncs 4-0.
“We were just not crisp in the back today,” said Falcon senior defender Cameron Coupe.
“I don’t know why it was like that. We made mistakes we normally don’t make. We just did not do a good job back there.”
Lynden Christian jumped to a 3-0 lead by halftime and preserved its shutout of South Whidbey. The Lyncs (5-4-3 Northwest Conference; 11-5-3 overall) left Woolsey Stadium in Shoreline as the best 1A team in District 1.
Out of the gate, South Whidbey (9-5-0 Cascade Conference; 11-6-2 overall) was poised to strike early. The Falcons had a free kick in the first minute outside the 18-yard marker. A shot by junior Trey Adams missed wide left.
Pressuring the Lyncs, the Falcons fired a few more in the first 10 minutes. Senior Darby Hayes attempted a header that was saved by Lync keeper Brady Harvey in the seventh. Falcon senior forward Stephen Lyons took a shot from the 18, but Harvey scooped up the roller.
“Once Lynden started to gel, it was Lynden pressing up on us,” said Falcon senior midfielder Guy Sparkman. “Our heels were going backward.”
Lynden Christian had South Whidbey on its heels in a hurry. Lync sophomore Cody Fransen chipped in a goal off a deflection by Falcon keeper Andrew Holt.
The first score in the 14th minute was frustrating for Holt, who managed to stop the first shot only to have an unguarded player tap it by him.
A second chip shot was maddening for Holt, who let his teammates hear it in the 31st. Holt stopped the first shot on a dive, but Lync senior Toby Dalla Santa waltzed into the box and tapped it by him for a 2-0 lead.
“They’re good at highlighting mistakes, finishing when they have the opportunity,” Coupe said.
The third goal came in the 33rd off a corner kick that was ripped in by Lync sophomore Justin Brester.
During the halftime break, South Whidbey’s players were quiet and frustrated. Lynden Christian’s squad laughed and strategized.
“Being down three, four-zero, the effort is there, it’s just not as high intensity,” Coupe said. “It’s deflating.”
South Whidbey opened the second half with lockdown defense, but failed to generate much pressure on Lynden Christian.
The Lyncs fired off a few shots before Luke Reardon booted one into the net from the 18 on a through ball.
“Throughout this season we’ve been weak to a team that plays a really good 4-5-1,” Sparkman said of the Lyncs’ formation.
“When they can control the ball in the middle like that, it’s tough to get any offense going.”
Relying on speed, the Falcons pressed the sidelines, looking for crosses into the middle. On the synthetic turf at King’s School, however, the ball bounced too high and rolled too fast for the Falcons to catch up.
That and Lynden Christian’s players matched them step-for-step and had a distinct height advantage.
South Whidbey played in a loser-out match against Cascade Christian on Tuesday night, after the Record went to press.