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Archive for the ‘Boys Soccer’ Category

Cameron Epp peppered the net with a pair of goals in a road win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

There were so many goals, they lost track of who all scored.

But better a win with a slight blip in the stat sheet, than a loss in which no one has to tally up scores.

Emerging from the wilds of Lynnwood Tuesday, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team headed back to Whidbey riding the high of winning a rout.

Pushing Cedar Park Christian around the pitch all afternoon, the Wolves polished off their Northwest 2B/1B League rival 7-0.

The victory lifts Coupeville to 1-0 in conference action, 3-3 overall.

It also sets them up for a key matchup at home Saturday with Mount Vernon Christian (1-1 in league, 4-3-1 overall).

The second half of a doubleheader, action kicks at 3 PM, with the boys tilt following on the heels of a girls rumble between CHS and Crosspoint Academy at 1 PM.

With Cedar Park Christian being a bottom feeder among the nine schools playing boys soccer in the NWL, Coupeville coach Robert Wood shuffled things around a bit.

“Strategic game for us tonight, prepping for MVC this weekend,” he said. “New formation and bench players getting a majority of time, putting starters in support roles, restricting touches and movement.

“All to prepare for the fast, aggressive game MVC will throw at us.”

Cael Wilson, here in goal, stepped out and knocked home two goals Tuesday in Lynnwood. (Morgan White photo)

When it comes to punching the ball into the back of the net, Coupeville was led by Cameron Epp and Cael Wilson, who netted two goals apiece.

Nick Guay and Grant Steller each added a tally, while who scored the seventh goal is anyone’s guess at this moment.

Wilson, Guay, and Steller scored for the first time this season, and Coupeville now has nine booters in the scoring column during the current campaign.

 

UPDATE: The seventh goal has been found. It came off of the toe of Nick Guay, giving him two scores in the game.

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Grant Steller swings his Leg ‘o Death as the soccer ball silently screams for help which isn’t coming. (Morgan White photos)

The pitch has been hoppin’.

The Coupeville High School boys soccer team had back-to-back home games recently, with the two best teams in the Northwest 2B/1B League visiting Whidbey.

With a win over Friday Harbor and a competitive loss to defending state champ Orcas Island, the Wolves exited the home stand looking fairly decent.

Along the way, Wolf mom Morgan White snapped a ton of pics, some of which can be seen above and below.

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Cole White leads the charge. (Morgan White photos)

There’s a reason Orcas Island is the defending 2B/1B state boys soccer champs.

The Vikings are good.

Orcas proved as much Tuesday, using a very-precise style of play to hold off a scrappy Coupeville squad.

Toppling the Wolves 5-2 at Mickey Clark Field, the Vikings improve to 4-1 on the season, while CHS falls to 2-3.

But while the game involved two Northwest 2B/1B League rivals, it won’t go into the books as a conference tilt.

Only the final eight games of the season, which starts with Coupeville travelling to play Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood Oct. 4, count as “league games” and decide playoff seeding.

The first five games for the Wolves, while all against NWL schools, are viewed as non-conference bouts for accounting purposes.

Which didn’t mean Coupeville didn’t want to upend the reigning champs, because they did.

Coming off an epic upset of Friday Harbor — the only team to topple Orcas this season — the Wolves were hoping to make it a two-fer.

It wasn’t to be, however, as the Vikings put on a clinic in the first half, controlling both sides of the field with a precise short passing attack, the ball skipping from player to player.

Coupeville’s defense, which was missing two key players in Andrew Williams and Alex Smith, held up well, but the Vikings took advantage of any small cracks, striking like cobras.

Orcas scored first off of a gorgeous header, set up by a (wait for it) precise pass which slipped between defenders and found a waiting noggin.

The Vikings notched two goals in the first seven minutes, before the teams played a half hour of scoreless ball marked by big defensive plays from both backlines.

The game looked like it would remain close heading to the break, but Orcas stung the Wolves with two more scores in the final three minutes of the half to stretch things out.

Wolf goalie Nick Guay surveys the field after making a save.

Even down four goals, Coupeville fought back valiantly.

Cole White brought Wolf fans to their feet with a great run 12 minutes into the second half.

Corralling a pass from Aidan Wilson, who flipped the ball out in front of the defense, White chased the bouncing orb down, juked a defender out of his shoes, then slapped home his first goal of the season.

Five minutes later, it was Wilson’s turn to net a score, banging home his team-leading fifth goal off of an assist from Preston Epp.

Drawing the goalie out of the net, Wilson rumbled past the out-of-place netminder and buried the ball into the corner of the net with a flick of his lethal foot.

Coupeville had all the momentum at that point, and 22 minutes to pull off a miracle, but Orcas closed the game like a team built to handle pressure.

The Vikings kept the ball away from the Wolves, ran time down, then added an insurance goal in stoppage time as the exclamation point on the night.

While his team lost, Coupeville coach Robert Wood liked the effort put together by his short-handed team against a very-strong program.

“Orcas knows how to shoot, how to move, and how to be aggressive when it counts,” he said.

“They put on a clinic of possession and quick ball movement,” Wood added. “Really fun game. Very impressive response by our team to their skills.”

Rumble, young men, rumble.

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Nick Guay applies some hands-on defense. (Morgan White photos)

Fear the Wilson boys.

With big bro Aidan netting a hat trick, and younger sibling Cael playing lights-out in the net, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team stunned the world Friday.

Facing off with visiting Friday Harbor, a state title contender which had just upended the actual defending state champs, the Wolves never backed down, claiming a 3-1 win at Mickey Clark Field.

The victory lifts Coupeville to 2-2 on the season heading into a showdown with Orcas Island, which brought home the shiniest trophy from last year’s 2B/1B state tourney.

Friday Harbor handed the Vikings a loss earlier in the week, ending a home-winning streak for Orcas which had reached five years.

So, when the Wolverines arrived on Whidbey Island, they were heavy favorites.

I’m just saying, even the hardiest of Coupeville fans weren’t likely to be hanging out down below the bleachers laying bets on the hometown pitch heroes.

But if they had … jackpot.

Coupeville came out aggressive and never backed down, contesting every shot and fighting for every 50/50 ball.

Wolf goalie Cael Wilson, stalking the pitch, the muted prairie sunshine reflecting off of his glasses, transformed before our eyes.

Suddenly he was Coupeville’s answer to Jan Oblak (thank you Google search…), a towering titan in the net, deflecting everything Friday Harbor sent his way.

Wilson punched a shot away with his right arm, dropped to his knees to make a two-handed block at point-blank range, and even shot high into the air to spear away another incoming missile.

On the sideline, CHS girls soccer guru Kyle Nelson, subbing for Wolf boys coach Robert Wood, who was out of town on business, nodded ever so slightly in approval.

Exactly the way the combined Coupeville pitch brain trust planned it.

If you looked at shots on goal, Friday Harbor had a huge advantage in the first half, and yet the scoreboard at the break reflected that score most beloved of soccer fanatics.

Zero to zero. Nil-nil, as they say in the soccer hotbeds.

Or so I’ve been told.

That was soon corrected, however, as Cael’s older brother decided to help out the family cause.

Aidan Wilson, on the rampage.

Rampaging down the left side of the pitch on a long run, Aidan Wilson lured the netminder in, before ripping a rocket into the top left of the net.

Cue the bedlam from the stands and his teammates.

Cue another small nod from Kyle Nelson, a master of keeping his composure in the glare of the spotlight.

And likely cue bedlam from Robert Wood, on the road but undoubtedly still grooving on his team’s success.

Friday Harbor is a top-notch team however, and you keep peppering any goalie with enough shots, one is going to go in at some point.

The tying score came courtesy Adam Strasbourger, who climbed to the heavens and sacrificed his noggin, using his head to knock the ball just wide of Cael Wilson’s outstretched arms.

The momentum could have shifted. Probably should have shifted.

But it didn’t.

Instead, Coupeville dug in, with the combined efforts of Cole White, Grant Steller, Matthew Ward, and Co. frustrating Friday Harbor’s offense time and again.

The Wolves caught a break when Aidan Wilson was awarded a penalty kick after a wild scrum, and the Wolf senior rattled home his second goal of the night with less than 14 minutes remaining on the clock.

Friday Harbor could not buy a break in the waning moments, missing twice from inches away on the same play.

A laser blast caught an updraft at the last second and slammed off the crossbar, only to rebound right to a Wolverine player.

But when his header put-back went wide left by a hair, Coupeville fans started to breathe again. At least a bit.

Aidan Wilson finally sealed the deal in stoppage time, sprinting down the left side and completing his second-half hat trick to push the lead out to 3-1.

In the aftermath of the win, his teammates carried Cael Wilson off the field while Coupeville Superintendent Steve King, a Friday Harbor alum, tried to walk the tight rope gracefully.

“I’ll file this one away,” he said with a smile. “Might have to bring this up at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe. Never know.”

For Nelson, who will find himself on a bus headed to Forks Saturday with the Wolf girls, the moment was huge.

“A great win for the guys,” he said.

“That’s the best team in this league, and this should be a really great confidence booster.”

Wolf goalie Cael Wilson (in neon shirt) is mobbed after he shut down the Northwest 2B/1B League’s best team.

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Grant Steller and associates vie on the soccer pitch. (Morgan White photo)

Soccer, forever trying to confuse me.

If it’s not the mind-melting offside rule or the love of an 80-minute game ending in a scoreless tie, it’s the scheduling.

As in, while all of the games played by the Coupeville High School boy soccer squad this season are against fellow Northwest 2B/1B League schools, not all of them will count in the standings that way.

The Wolves have scrapped with Mount Vernon Christian, Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood, and La Conner, winning the middle of those tilts.

And coming up next are home bouts with the top two NWL squads, Friday Harbor and defending state champion Orcas Island.

But, when that’s all said and done, while CHS will have five games in the win-loss column, none of them will have counted as league contests.

Instead, the final eight games of the regular season between Oct. 4-27, with one clash against each of the other eight schools to play boys soccer in the NWL, will be the “official” league games.

That stretch, and only that stretch, determines playoff seeding.

The quirk is a product of the fact the NWL picks up four outside schools — Lopez Island, Grace Academy, CPC, and Providence Classical Christian — for boys soccer, and boys soccer alone.

Those schools join Coupeville, MVC, Friday Harbor, Orcas Island, and La Conner, while NWL charter members Concrete and Darrington don’t field teams.

Having eight league rivals makes it nearly impossible to play each school twice.

NWL girls soccer, by contrast, has just four schools active in the sport — Coupeville, La Conner, MVC, and Friday Harbor, so six home-and-away league clashes are easy-peasy to schedule.

Orcas, Darrington, and Concrete don’t have female booters, and the league doesn’t import any outside girls squads to pad its numbers.

Technically, Lopez Island considers its soccer team co-ed, so Coupeville’s boys have faced an occasional girl during previous games.

In the end, Coupeville’s boys have a 13-game schedule, play the same team twice five times, but count only the last eight as league contests.

It also means when Friday Harbor KO’d Orcas earlier this week, handing the Viking boys their first home loss in five years, it didn’t have any impact on postseason seeding.

Their Oct. 11 rematch, however, could go a long way to deciding a league title.

In the end, Coupeville pitch guru Robert Wood looks at the whole affair with a bemused smile and a chuckle.

“Not sure why … don’t care either … that’s an administrative thing and I HATE admin work.”

And then he went back to describing the beauty of a scoreless tie.

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