Sports

Wolves hand Falcons first loss

South Whidbey junior midfielder Jeff Meier takes a header against Coupeville on March 28. The Falcons lost an early lead to the Wolves, their conference rivals.  - Jim Waller / The Record
South Whidbey junior midfielder Jeff Meier takes a header against Coupeville on March 28. The Falcons lost an early lead to the Wolves, their conference rivals.
— image credit: Jim Waller / The Record

The island rivalry lived up to its billing between the South Whidbey and Coupeville boys soccer teams Friday, March 28.

Coupeville recovered from an early deficit to defeat South Whidbey 2-1 in a match that could affect both teams’ playoff chances.

“Being a senior, it was one of the more painful things I’ve gone through,” said Falcon senior forward Trey Adams.

“For some reason, that’s how it goes against Coupeville,” he later added.

South Whidbey struck first with an early score by junior midfielder Jeff Meier on an assist from junior forward Kai da Rosa. From there, the Falcons continued with a barrage of shots on goal, wracking up 22 in the match.

But Coupeville’s defense held together and managed to knock away several shots. Robbins praised the Wolves’ goalie Joel Walstad for deflecting several would-be scores.

“He stopped some tough shots,” Robbins said.

Yet for all the firepower of South Whidbey, Coupeville’s stifled offense broke through more times. The first Wolves score was late in the first half on a shot well outside the goalie’s box by Josiah Campbell that tied the game going into halftime.

“It was one of those goals where you shake your head and say the soccer gods weren’t smiling on us,” Robbins said of the first Coupeville goal.

South Whidbey continued to press the issue, firing shot after shot and controlling the field. Coupeville managed only four shots on goal in the match, but made them count.

The second Wolves’ goal came in a transition run. A South Whidbey defender went down after some contact, leaving Coupeville with a 2-on-1 opportunity at the net with Zane Bundy scoring on an assist from Campbell.

Adams, one of the Falcons’ co-captains, was sidelined for the final 20 minutes of the match after a slide tackle tweaked his ankle. Watching from the bench was agonizing as South Whidbey’s playoff position became uncertain.

“I had to sit there and watch the team fall apart,” Adams said.

Between the perceived missed call and an argued offside penalty that negated an open look by da Rosa, South Whidbey’s coaches were unhappy with the game’s officiating crew.

“I’m not going to tell you I was happy with some of the calls,” Robbins said. “But I believe if we play our game, then officiating doesn’t matter.”

“It was one of those games I don’t think I’ll ever forget,” he added.

South Whidbey hosted Cedarcrest on Tuesday, after The Record went to press.

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