Sports

Falcons fall to undefeated Cedarcrest in soccer

Falcon Jack East goes airborne to defend against a Red Wolf player during South Whidbey’s 5-2 loss to Cedarcrest Tuesday. - Jeff VanDerford / The Record
Falcon Jack East goes airborne to defend against a Red Wolf player during South Whidbey’s 5-2 loss to Cedarcrest Tuesday.
— image credit: Jeff VanDerford / The Record

LANGLEY — Jeff Brasko and Dino Michaelides scored one goal each Tuesday night against Cedarcrest, but quality and experience overcame the young Falcon soccer team and the Red Wolves won 5-2.

Cedarcrest remains unbeaten in the Cascade Conference at

12-0 — the first team in the league to qualify for a playoff berth — while South Whidbey drops to 3-8 and 3-9 overall.

“Cedarcrest has had only two goals scored on them all year, which means our kids stepped up and played really well,” Falcon coach Joel Gerlach said. “At our first meeting on March 27, they won 6-0 and we’ve improved. Cedarcrest is very good.”

Thirteen minutes into the first half, Brasko caught the Red Wolf defenders flat-footed as he kicked a solid bullet into the net, dead center.

Brasko ran back to his teammates with a well-deserved grin on his face, clearly hoping to spark a Falcon upset.

But it wasn’t long before Cedarcrest recovered — they are too efficient and balanced to take a goal against them lying down. The Wolves scored twice before Michaelides dropped one in on a side kick from the left corner just before the half ended.

The score was 4-2 at the break.

The Falcon defense caught their groove in the second period, denying the Red Wolves a goal for the first 29 minutes. Falcon goalie Ian Marsanyi managed to stop every attempt before Red Wolf Evan Fassler made the fifth goal with a minute left.

“We were doing pretty well in the second half,” Michaelides recalled. “But we have to get better at marking up, staying with your man like glue. And scoring more goals, of course.”

Cedarcrest put on a display of just how to do it, though.

“Evan [Fassler] had a good game for us with three goals and two assists,” Cedarcrest coach Zach Pittis said. “I thought that South Whidbey has improved a lot since our first meeting. Their players worked extremely hard and they scored two nice goals.”

Gerlach said his basic intent was to slow the Red Wolves down and force them to play harder.

“Our other task was to keep track of their outside midfielders,” he said. “Dino, Jeff and Felipe [Marmolejo] had a great game.”

“Some teams are offense-oriented, others focus on a hot defense and a few are in perfect balance, like Cedarcrest,” he added. “The ability to respond to the other guy’s moves makes the difference between victory and defeat. We let a lot of guys get serious minutes against Cedarcrest.”

With the Falcons out of the playoff hunt, Gerlach is now looking toward next season.

“We’ve got two more games and this is our opportunity to look at players for next year,” said Gerlach, who has been coaching soccer for 13 years and is in his third year at the helm of South Whidbey’s varsity squad.

Gerlach was quick to praise the community recreation programs that are responsible for the high quality of players funneled into his teams.

“Parents, coaches and these programs have done a fantastic job getting these kids ready,”

Gerlach said.

Gerlach sees his job as fine-tuning their deftness on the field, working them into his unique system and getting them ready to meet whatever skill level they run up against. “And there are lots of levels in this league,” he said.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or jvanderford@south

whidbeyrecord.com.

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