Lyncs fold under Falcon shooting

Four years ago, the South Whidbey Falcons could not have dreamed of such a lopsided soccer game against Lynden Christian.

On Saturday, the Falcon boys downed the Lyncs 3-1 in a game at Waterman Field that had the home team outshooting their competition at least 4-to-1. It was a big change from the days when South Whidbey went through multiple showdowns with the Lyncs to make it to their first-ever state championship game, showdowns that were usually decided by one goal in overtime or a shootout.

What was apparent on a warm and sunlit soccer field last weekend is the fact that the Falcons have been able to maintain the quality of its varsity team, while Lynden Christian has not. Mark Helpenstell, South Whidbey’s head coach, said that while the Lyncs did play a solid game, they are obviously in a rebuilding phase after losing a number of players to graduation in 2003.

The victory was the Falcons’ first of the season, evening their record at 1-1 after a 4-1 loss the previous week to state 2A champion Sultan. In Saturday’s game, the Falcons were in total control throughout, driving repeatedly into the Lynden Christian zone to hammer the Lync defenders and goalkeeper with big shots.

The Falcons took the lead early when senior Spencer Buckman picked up a pass from forward Ben Walker and bent a left-footed shot from the left-hand side of the net to beat the keeper in the 10th minute.

The Lyncs came back to tie the game by the half, but would never be close to the Falcons again. Near the 60th minute, according to Helpenstell, junior Connor Adams picked up a rebound from junior Josh Helpenstell and booted it at close range for the Falcons’ second goal of the day.

The Falcons’ final goal came in the 76th minute, when the same combination of players faked out the Lync defense. Awarded a free kick, Walker banged the ball into the goalkeeper’s box, where Helpenstell made an initial shot. Finding the rebound, Adams muscled the ball into the net.

The only shot the Lyncs were able to get onto the scoreboard came late in the first half on a 20-yarder that just got by sophomore Falcon goalkeeper Devin Thompson.

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