4-0 win over Meridian sends Falcons to state

"It was an emotional win yesterday."

On Thursday, Falcon Coach Fran Einterz said the 4-0 win over Meridian was the most emotional and gleeful reaction he's ever seen from the boy's soccer team.

"We've worked hard for it, and it's been a tough road," Coach Einterz said.

South Whidbey began the match knowing that an entry into state competition depended on winning the game. Had they lost, the season would have been done for the year.

The Falcons didn't disappoint anyone Wednesday, including the approximately 40 fans who made the trip from Whidbey Island, according to Coach Einterz.

Sophomore Ari Strickland had the first goal early in the first half, said Einterz, off a corner kick assisted by senior Adam Jaffe. The Falcons ended the first knowing the Trojans -- whom they had beat twice in regular-season play -- had half a game to even the score.

"It was still a little bit tense," said Einterz.

Jaffe solidified the win by sinking the first goal of the second half, Einterz said. Jasper Hein, also a senior, was close behind him 10 minutes later, bringing the score to 3-0. Jaffe, with help from senior Tyler Nettlebeck, grabbed the fourth and final goal of the night.

Einterz said it was the starting back line that kept the Trojans from entering the box. Senior goalkeeper Joe Gunn saw little action, said the coach, because of work by Strickland, sophomore Connor Adams, and juniors Roy Ishii and Tore Jones.

"It was a very solid defensive effort," Einterz said. "Joe Gunn in the net didn't have much to do."

Four Falcons received recognition this week after they were named 2003 North Cascades All-Conference soccer players, according to Einterz. Gunn and Jaffe were named to the first team, and sophomore Kevin Dunigan was named to the second team. Sophomore Ben Walker received an honorable mention by the league.

"It bodes really well for the future of the program," said Einterz.

He said he had no doubts that the underclassmen will resume where this year's seniors will leave off.

"They should be good next year," he said.

South Whidbey will play Steilacoom High School at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Spartan Stadium in Sumner. The Falcons are seeded third in District 1, and Steilacoom is the No. 1 seed in District 3.

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