Revolution continues playoff uprising

Revolution U-12 soccer players Donald Gambill and Kameron Donohoe fire the ball to a teammate Saturday during their 2-0 victory in the Commissioner’s Cup semi-final game in Tukwila. - Photo by Kristina Saunsaucie
Revolution U-12 soccer players Donald Gambill and Kameron Donohoe fire the ball to a teammate Saturday during their 2-0 victory in the Commissioner’s Cup semi-final game in Tukwila.
— image credit: Photo by Kristina Saunsaucie

No doubt about it, the kids are on fire.

The South Whidbey Revolution U-12 soccer team shut out the Maple Valley Premier Rapids 2-0 on Saturday at the Starfire Complex in Tukwila.

They now advance to the Commissioner’s Cup final game at 3:45 p.m. Sunday,

Feb. 22 in Tukwila.

The game was tied at zero through the first half. Both teams took some time to get used to the faster pace of playing on the artificial field turf surface. Once they adjusted, scoring opportunities opened up.

Prior to the end of the first half, midfielder Charley Stelling made two collapsing saves on through-passes to a breaking Rapid striker, Revolution coach Terry Swanson said.

“Charley was very aggressive on his challenges and collapsed on the ball as their striker was reaching the forward pass,” Swanson noted. “Any hesitation on Charley’s part on either of these passes would have had us climbing back from a 2-0 deficit.”

Revolution forwards had several scoring opportunities, most of which went wide of the goal. Near the end of the half the Rapid goalkeeper made an outstanding save on Kai Da Rosa’s open shot from inside the penalty area.

At the end of the half the boys knew that they were outplaying the Rapids and that they simply needed to keep pressuring their defense.

Revolution midfielder Jeffrey Meier thought the team was playing too slow at the start.

“But at the half, Kameron (Donohoe) was yelling a bunch of stuff like, ‘Where does the ball belong?’ and ‘This is our game,’” he said. “It sort of woke us up and got us going. We started playing like we knew we could.”

Whatever the motivation, the boys pressured the Rapids throughout the remainder of the game.

At the 40-minute mark, the Rapid keeper gave up the first goal when striker Davin Kesler was set up with a well-timed pass from Da Rosa, initiated from a quick outlet from midfielder Donald Gambill. Ten minutes later, Da Rosa ended the Rapids hopes of tying the game with a fine shot into the upper right corner of the goal, controlling a cross from Kesler.

Striker Quinn Hassrick nearly made it 3-0 with a strong shot on a goal set up by a pass from midfielder Bryce Auburn in the final minutes of play.

Hassrick said the Rapids were good, but not great.

“They didn’t pass the ball to each other which made it harder to get upfield and score,” he said. “The coach put in Davin and he scored and we won.”

Swanson said his team’s defense was again outstanding.

“In the past six games the Revolution has had four shutouts and only given up single goals in the other two games,” Swanson said.

The Revolution defense is anchored by Anders Bergquist, Parker Buchanan, Joshua Adams and Thomas Swanson. The team plays a 4-4-2 formation, which requires significant running by its outside midfielders, as flankers on attack, and shutting down quick counter attacks in a defensive role, the coach said.

“Meier, Andrew Zisette and Lucas Leiberman played a very strong game in the outside midfield position. Inside midfielders Donohoe, Jordan Henriot and Oliver Saunsauncie provided excellent transition and energy from defensive to offensive play,” he added.

Swanson noted that the team has dedicated a lot of hard work to get to this point.

“It isn’t going to get any easier, but these guys are up to the challenge,” he said.

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