Posts Tagged ‘Miguel Puente’

Cael Wilson and Coupeville High School boys soccer continue to swing big against Northwest 2B/1B League heavyweights. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Not all losses are the same.

Yes, it’s true the Coupeville High School boys soccer team fell 3-1 to visiting Providence Classical Christian Saturday afternoon at Mickey Clark Field.

The loss, the second-straight for the Wolf booters, drops them to 3-6 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, with six games left to play.

But much like in Coupeville’s 2-1 defeat Thursday against Mount Vernon Christian, the final score up on the big board doesn’t tell the whole story.

Coupeville, which almost lost its boys soccer program last season, played two of the best teams in its league in a 48-hour period, and more than held its own.

Both of the private schools boast a considerable amount of travel ball vets, while the Wolves, who have rebuilt their roster to 19 booters, don’t have that same level of experience.

But what CHS does have is a batch of tough, never-say-die hustlers who are jelling as a team and taking huge leaps and bounds as individuals, and as a group, each time on the pitch.

“Great game today. Awesome play by absolutely everyone!,” said elated Coupeville coach Robert Wood.

Trailing 2-0 to PCC at the half, and playing a team with just a single loss on its record to defending NWL champs Orcas Island, the Wolves rebounded after the break.

Miguel Puente notched his second goal of the season in the game’s 50th minute to pull Coupeville within one.

Nick (Guay), Alex (Murdy), and Xavier (Murdy) all just being tenacious on the back line … then Miguel to clean it up nicely,” Wood said.

PCC showed off their chops with an absolutely-gorgeous goal from 35 yards out, with the ball smacking gracefully into the upper corner of the net, to provide the final margin.

“Rather pro, if you ask me,” Wood said of the final tally.

“All in all … awesome to hold them (a premier-stacked team) at 2-1 until extra time.”

But while the effort was impressive, and the battle intense, the best thing might be that the young, still-developing Wolves exited the field wanting more.

“Kids are pissed though,” Wood said. “Because they know how good they can be.”

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Miguel Puente’s first goal in America was a game-winner. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Miguel Puente is a Wolf for life.

When his year as a foreign exchange student ends, he’ll likely return to Mexico, taking him with tales of a small farming town on a rock in the water up in the Pacific Northwest of the United States.

But back in Coupeville, Puente will be remembered for a balmy night in late September, 2021, when he strode into the spotlight and unleashed some magic.

With an overflow crowd of fellow CHS students chanting his name, the midfielder/defender buried a penalty kick into the left corner of the net with less than four minutes to play Tuesday, lifting the Wolves to a 2-1 victory on their home turf against Grace Academy.

The victory, capping a night of high action and nerve-rattling suspense, takes Coupeville to 1-2 in Northwest 2B/1B League play.

Coming off of shutout losses to conference heavyweights Mount Vernon Christian and Orcas Island, the Wolves needed a goal, and a spark.

They found both on a night when CHS coach Robert Wood hailed his entire team as the “player of the game.”

“They really came together and showed their talent and ability, and what happens when everyone does their job,” he said, his voice slightly choked with pride.

Alex Murdy and Co. were aggressive and played as a unit Tuesday, claiming their first victory of the season.

An early sign of what was to come was delivered by Wolf goaltender Aidan Wilson, who put together a phenomenal performance in front of his home fans.

Grace Academy unleashed the first truly great shot of the game about 11 minutes into the game.

It arrived fast and furious, but Wilson was right where he needed to be, deflecting the ball up and over the net with a nifty block which brought a roar from the partially-filled stands.

Things got progressively noisier as more CHS students arrived, coming from their own practices or games, and Wilson and his teammates rightfully earned their applause.

Several more saves from the Wolf netminder kept things scoreless, before Xavier Murdy finally broke the seal on the net.

Rampaging on the left side of the field, the Coupeville senior bashed in a ball from distance in the game’s 23rd minute, notching the fourth score of his prep career.

The Wolves carried that 1-0 lead into the halftime break, and held on to it for the first 10 minutes of the second half.

The visitors bounced one through the CHS defense however, knotting things up and, very briefly, taking a bit of wind out of the sails of the Wolves and their fans.

But it was very briefly, as Aidan Wilson and the Grace Academy goalie traded off saves, both teams looking for the tiebreaker, but unable to find it.

Until Cael Wilson — Aidan’s younger brother — went motoring down the left side of the field, his legs churning, on a breakaway.

His stride was broken by a hard-charging defender, but the game’s biggest break came out of the play, as a Grace Academy player was flagged for a very-flagrant hand ball.

Given a penalty kick, the Wolf players actually made the decision on who would take the shot, with Wood signing off on things with a slight nod like the serene soccer guru he is.

As the ref placed the ball, players fidgeted, and CHS students lost their minds, Puente sauntered to his spot like a seasoned pro.

He offered no fakes or sleight of hand, but instantly crushed a low, zippy shot which slid past the flailing goalie and kissed the back of the net in a deep, dark corner.

At which point the Wolf fans almost prematurely rushed the field, but then showed a bit of restraint.

Suddenly trailing, with each precious second flying off of the ref’s personal watch, Grace Academy came hard in the final frenzied moments.

And once again Aidan Wilson soared, deflecting several shots, including knocking a free kick up and over the bar to preserve the win.

Afterwards, as his team (and their fans) basked in the first win of the season, Wood leaned against the bench and smiled.

“So proud of these guys,” he said. “It’s a huge confidence booster.

“We did exactly what we worked on all week, and brought it to the field, everyone trusting in their teammates. Everybody played well.”

Coupeville takes the win and hits the road, with its next three games away from Whidbey.

The Wolves face Friday Harbor (Sept. 24) and La Conner (Sept. 28), then have a rematch with Grace Academy (Oct. 1), not playing in front of their home fans again until Oct. 5.

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