Facing a hapless Lakewood squad, the senior-laden South Whidbey boys soccer team put on a show with a seemingly effortless 8-0 win Wednesday night.
The 10 Falcon seniors shined in their final Cascade Conference home match, controlling the ball and racking up shot after shot, goal after goal. Even South Whidbey’s senior goalie, Charley Stelling, managed to score a goal.
For the seniors, many of whom have played together since they first started in organized soccer, punctuating their team chemistry with a resounding win was a perfect end.
South Whidbey, as it had in the previous game, moved at will against Lakewood (0-12-0 conference, 0-14-0 overall). The first goal was scored less than a minute into play. With all the seniors starting, which has not happened all season, deep reserve Coel Cable fired off a shot that was deflected to senior Kameron Donohoe who headed in the loose ball.
“It felt really good, not gonna lie, especially with the weird goal that I scored,” Donohoe said. “It feels really great in my last game here.”
Cable got his second varsity goal of the season in the 11th minute (the other was scored in the previous meeting with Lakewood). Taking a cross from senior Andy Zisette, Cable lofted the shot over the Lakewood goalie, then barely cracked a smile as he ran to reset in the center circle.
His demeanor belied the magnitude of the moment. After being cut from the program his freshman and sophomore years for being out of shape, he worked relentlessly to cut weight and condition for his junior season when he played junior varsity. Eager to be part of the program, most of this season’s minutes came in JV matches, but he made the most of his varsity playing time and especially on South Whidbey’s senior day.
“I’m just really happy,” Cable said. “I worked those two years I didn’t get on. A lot of things that I’ve done, I haven’t seen the rewards yet. I’m really happy I finally got to see that with this (match).”
Zisette got in on the action a couple of minutes after having a header goal waved off for an offsides violation. Using his distinct height advantage, Zisette burst into the box from the left sideline and smashed in the ball with his forehead on a cross from senior Jeff Meier.
After a brief ceremony recognized each senior and their parents, South Whidbey got right back to form. Zisette dribbled through three Cougar defenders, drew out the keeper and knocked in the ball past his diving arms in the 45th.
Taking a penalty kick, Stelling blasted the ball low to the goalie’s right. He dove and blocked the shot, but couldn’t collect the ball as it rolled to his left where Stelling chipped it in unguarded.
With limited reserves, South Whidbey’s coaches rotated their starters out and back in to play different positions. Kai da Rosa, pulled for much of the second half, moved to a wing position as junior Lucas Fulton took over at striker.
Fulton scored a pair of goals within two minutes, in the 65th and 67th. One came on a lofted cross by Cable, the second on a cross from Meier.
“It’s really good to enter into the playoffs getting high numbers and doing good,” Cable said. “The last couple weeks against the other teams we were able to get results but it was pretty close. It’s nice to have things click together before the playoffs.”
With the match’s outcome well in hand, South Whidbey employed a trick play. Falcon senior Bryce Auburn, one of the team’s stalwart defenders, moved to take a corner kick but faked a switch with senior Davin Kesler, who dribbled along the goal line before passing into the box for Auburn to boot it into the back of the net.
South Whidbey was poised to take the top seed in the 1A District 1 tournament next week. Before the postseason, the Falcons had to face the Sultan Turks on Friday after The Record went to press. Sultan is also a 1A Cascade Conference team and the game will be its final home game.