South Whidbey boys soccer wins season opener over University Prep

Falcon forward Kai da Rosa slides a pass by University Prep on Monday, March 17.  - Celeste Erickson / The Record
Falcon forward Kai da Rosa slides a pass by University Prep on Monday, March 17.
— image credit: Celeste Erickson / The Record

Aggressive defensive play led the way in the South Whidbey boys soccer team’s first victory against University Prep on Monday.

In the non-league match at South Whidbey High School, the Falcons needed nearly 60 minutes before finding their first goal. Co-head coach Emerson “Skip” Robbins credited the rear defenders — seniors Calvin Shimada and Jack Hood and juniors Anders Bergquist and Bryce Auburn — for allowing only two shots on goal in the entire match.

“Our back four did great,” Robbins said.

“I’ve always taken pride in strong defense,” he later added, also mentioning that the team spent its first week of practice solely on defense.

Part of the problem early, Robbins and co-head coach Joel Gerlach said, was that the Falcons crowded around the ball, making it hard to find open players. In the first half, South Whidbey attempted five shots on goal.

“Guys were getting in each other’s way,” Robbins said.

Gerlach said one goal was waved off on a handball call by the field referee.

By the second half, the offense spaced itself better and found more avenues for passing and through balls for looks at the University Prep goal. Robbins highlighted passing by Lucas Lieberman and runs by Kai da Rosa as marked improvements in the final 40 minutes. Eventually, one broke through for Bergquist, who pushed up from the defensive half of the field and scored late in the match.

South Whidbey had eight days to prepare for its Cascade Conference opener against King’s on Tuesday, March 25, one of the 1A schools in the league that will help determine playoff seeding.


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