Tuesday’s boys soccer match looked like a race between a Ferrari and a Pinto as South Whidbey pummeled Cedar Park Christian 6-0.
The Falcons flew around the field as fast and furious as their namesake mascot and took a 2-0 lead in the first half that exploded to a 6-0 win that would have been even more one-sided if not for errant shots and many saves by Cedar Park’s goalie.
“It’s what we’ve been (implementing) in practice, what we’ve been working on,” said Falcon senior mid Davin Kesler. “Keeping the ball in the midfield for short amounts of time and getting it wide quickly. It’s supposed to be really fast paced, that’s what we’re looking for. That’s what it should look like: just running teams into the ground. We’ve got a deep team and people can’t keep up with us.”
South Whidbey fired off 43 shots and was relentless in its offensive pressure. Rarely did the ball cross into South Whidbey’s half of the field. Falcon senior goalie Charley Stelling touched the ball four, maybe five times in 80 minutes of play. Not one shot on goal was made by the Eagles (0-1-0 conference, 0-3-0 overall), new to the Cascade Conference this season as a fellow 1A team.
“We’re picking up right where we left off last year,” said Kesler, referring to the team’s run to the quarterfinals of the state 1A tournament in 2014.
Falcon senior Jeff Meier was stellar as he recorded his second hat trick in as many matches. His first goal came after a quick one-touch pass by senior striker Kai da Rosa in the 12th minute. This, after South Whidbey had already gotten off seven shots.
Andy Zisette, a Falcon senior outside midfielder, booted in South Whidbey’s second goal on a cross from da Rosa in the 19th minute. South Whidbey got 12 more shots off before halftime.
“Going in, we didn’t know anything about them,” Meier said of Cedar Park Christian. “We heard they were a good team. We found weaknesses on their outside backs and wings and me and Andy went after them.”
Meier opened the second half with a quick score. Falcon junior Lucas Leiberman crossed the ball to Meier near the goalie box. As Cedar Park’s goalie stepped out to challenge Meier, the savvy Falcon senior tapped the ball to his right, passed the goalie and sent it into the back of the net.
South Whidbey’s fourth goal came in the 47th minute. Da Rosa took a long pass from Meier, dribbled into the box and shot for the goal. The ball was deflected but bounced back to da Rosa, who rocketed it back in past the defenders.
The hat trick was accomplished in the 54th minute on a laser -bolt shot by Meier. He got the ball about 30 yards out, saw open field and fired the ball toward the goal. Cedar Park’s keeper leaped to stop it but the ball sailed past him and was stopped only by the twine.
“The first couple years I always wanted to shoot from that far out, but Skip doesn’t really like people shooting that far out,” Meier said. “But this season in tryouts he said I had the green light from 35 (yards).”
With more than a quarter of the game yet to be played, South Whidbey hardly let up. The Falcons, playing a bit short-staffed due to injuries and illness, kept in their starters until the waning minutes.
That enabled da Rosa to get his final score in the 65th minute. He got the ball just across midfield, beat his defender near the sideline and moved inside to blast the ball in.
On Thursday, South Whidbey beat Klahowya 2-0 in a non-league, 1A match. Kameron Donohoe scored the first goal on an assist from Kesler, and da Rosa scored in the second half unassisted. Stelling made three saves for his third shutout in a row.
“Charley saved our bacon twice on what were otherwise certain goals,” Falcon head coach Emerson “Skip” Robbins said in a text message after the game.