Schedule drains soccer boys

Abe Smith-Groening gains control during Friday
Abe Smith-Groening gains control during Friday's Falcon win at home against Blaine. He registered the Falcons' lone scoring shot the next day in a 2-1 loss to Meridian.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

Four games packed into just six days were the undoing of the South Whidbey boys soccer team during the past week.

With scarcely a day to work on their game in practice, the Falcons lost three close games while winning just one home matchup at home Friday. Last Wednesday, conference-leading Sultan took the Falcons out 2-0 on Turk territory. Bouncing back two days later, South Whidbey gave Blaine the south-of-the-border treatment in a tight, 1-0 win at Waterman Field.

Unfortunately, the win gave the Falcons little momentum from which to draw. They lost a 2-1 game against Meridian in a makeup game Saturday, then fell 4-2 Monday at Lakewood.

That last game, said Falcon Coach Mark Helpenstell, went bad from the start. On Lakewood's dirt field, two corner kicks in the South Whidbey zone that turned into flurries of ball bobbling left Falcon goalkeeper Craig Peterson without a good look at the action around him.

"We were just kinda pinballing," he said.

The Falcons scored their goals late, one on a Chris Layman penalty kick and another on junior Scott Perkins' goal with seven minutes remaining.

Had his team had more time to get used to the field surface, Helpenstell said, the result would have been different.

"With five more minutes, we would've beat them," he said.

Friday's win against Blaine was the only true bright spot of the week. Senior Aubrey Lawlor-White iced the game when he scored the first goal of his varsity career off an Adam Jaffe assist.

But Saturday saw the Falcons come back to the field tired, as they were during their Wednesday loss to the Turks. Being at home didn't help as the Trojans had luck on their side. With the score tied 1-1 and a minute remaining, a high shot from 25 yards out went past the Falcon defense and goalkeeper Joe Gunn to secure a Trojan win.

The Falcons play a busy schedule this week as well. They are at home against Lynden Christian Wednesday, then host a North Cascades Conference makeup game against Mount Baker on Thursday.

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