It’s never easy coming to South Whidbey’s Waterman Field, as Archbishop Murphy discovered on Thursday when they lost 2-1 to an energized Falcon soccer team.
“We were all a little depressed having lost the last two games,” Falcons forward Sam Lungren said. “But we really wanted this win, especially against these guys.”
Wanting it and getting it are often two different things, but not this night. Goalie Dylan Fate made several stellar saves in clutch situations that kept ATM off the scoreboard by the half.
Fate has a way of being in the right place at the right time and is never intimidated when the other team charges en masse to the goal.
“He’s fearless,” said Falcon Coach Joel Gerlach.
Of course, the Falcons couldn’t score either, though there were a some seriously close calls; Lungren and Faisal Hassan threw scares into the Wildcats half a dozen times.
Gerlach had made a number of strategic changes the day before.
“We went to a five-man defense, put the striker forward and cycled in some JV players who show promise,” Lungren said. “I think that threw the Wildcats off guard a bit.”
Younger players Adrian Cortes, Daniel Quintero and Mark Arand as a double-stopper — meaning an extra player on defense — made an impression, and they were ably assisted by more senior teammates who weren’t shy about suggesting where they should be at any given point.
“Communication on the field improves with every game and that is a big help,” Gerlach said. “The mid-field did a great job directing traffic. Dino and Faisal had excellent games.”
Seven minutes into the second period, Ethan Low hit the ball high over the Wildcat defense to Lungren, who scored. ATM made their presence felt three minutes later and the score was 1-1.
With six minutes left, Falcon Dino Michaelides made an attempt, but the goalie bobbled it and Lungren scored.
“He wasn’t as good as he thought he was and I got the shot,” Lungren said.
Though the Falcons are 3-3 in the league, they’re only a game or two out of first. “The teams we’ve lost to are beatable,” Gerlach said.
Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.