When Coupeville goalkeeper Tanner Kircher gripped his head in frustration and despair following a score by South Whidbey freshman Graham Colar, it encapsulated the effectiveness of South Whidbey’s offense. And that was just 11 minutes into the match.
Colar and six other Falcons combined to score nine goals in a 9-2 win over the Wolves on March 19 at South Whidbey High School. Three were scored by freshmen, which may have been a first for the program, Falcon head coach Emerson Robbins said.
Falcon senior co-captain Lucas Leiberman led the team with three goals, while Colar, freshman Michael Lux, freshman Julian Inches, sophomore Ari Rohan, senior Lucas Fulton-Bevers and junior Justin Gonzales joined him in the scoring tirade.
Other than a pair of defensive lapses in the second half, the Falcons were their dominant selves. It was the team’s first victory of the season, after they dropped their season-opener to Bush School, 2-0, on March 12.
“I could tell from the beginning that we were out here to win,” Leiberman said. “We wanted to get at it and we were excited. We saw where we needed to go, the weaknesses they had and did what we needed to do.”
Colar, Lux and Inches gained praise from their veteran teammates and coach Robbins after playing a substantial amount in the match. The meshing between the team’s younger and veteran players will prove valuable down the road, Leiberman said.
“It was good because it built confidence with a lot of the younger players getting a lot of time and working together,” Leiberman said. “That helped build the chemistry with the new guys coming in. It was a good win.”
The first-year players held their own and then some, with Colar striking first when he scored the Falcons’ second goal in the 11th minute. Lux scored in the 56th minute. Inches headed in a goal in the 68th minute. For Colar, a midfielder, the match was about adjusting to the team and finding his role.
“I just really wanted to fit on the team and help a lot because we’re short on players this year and just doing the best I can,” Colar said. “Also, I’d like to thank Skip (Emerson Robbins). He’s been awesome.”
“He’s the backbone of the team,” he added.
Robbins was pleased with the freshmen’s play after a shaky, albeit expected, start to their careers against Bush. Their performances were especially impressive considering the trio are the first to make the varsity squad since Robbins has coached. Overall, Robbins was pleased with the Falcons’ outside and midfielder play and their ability to use the entire field. South Whidbey often drove the ball deep into the Wolves’ territory, exposing Wolves goalie Kircher from all different angles.
“We’re developing and that’s what you want to see is progress,” Robbins said.
Leiberman struck first in the eighth minute when Kircher mistimed his approached to an incoming ball, which allowed Leiberman to fly past him for an open shot at the goal. He scored again three minutes later when he attacked from the right side of the field, scooting past his defenders for a goal to the left side of the net. Leiberman’s third goal came in the 15th minute, while he also assisted Fulton-Bevers’ score in the 33rd minute. The variety of players who scored made it difficult for the Wolves to defend, Falcon senior defender and co-captain Lochlan Roberts said.
“There’s more capability and more threats against other teams,” Roberts said. “You can score from anywhere on the field.”
“I thought our communication today was as best as I’ve seen it. There was a lot of talk and it led to some really good build-up play,” he added.
Robbins kept a level head after the match, and hopes the Falcons can learn from any mistakes they made against the Wolves.
“You always want to look at the positives, and we’ll definitely be patting them on the back, but we want to see what we can learn and improve,” Robbins said.
The Falcons played Cedar Park Christian on Tuesday night after The Record’s deadline. They play at Granite Falls on March 25 and return home against Archbishop Murphy on March 28. Kick-off will be at 6 p.m.