Wolves win thriller | Soccer

Coupeville's Taylor Phillips (2) and Nathan Lamb (8) close in on the ball in the Wolves' win over South Whidbey.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / South Whidbey Record

This was more than the average win.

Not only did the Coupeville High School soccer team win 1-0 Friday, March 30, but the Wolves did it on the road over rival South Whidbey in a shootout to hand the Falcons their first loss.

It was also a great bounce-back win for the Wolves who suffered a tough 3-2 loss to powerful King's earlier in the week.

Coach Paul Mendes said "this is exactly what we needed" after "coming off the heart-breaking loss."

He added, "It was a great team effort…I am very proud of our boys. It was a rainy, freezing night, playing away from home, and we came out and played the best defense we played all year."

He said Luke Pelant and Taylor Phillips were "outstanding containing" South Whidbey's offense, and Zach Forland "came up big for us" in goal as Coupeville earned the shutout.

The thrilling match had an intense finish with "both teams creating chances," Mendes said.

Falcon keeper Garrett Thompson made two "super saves," according to Mendes, to send the game to the shootout. He denied Josh Wilsey's free kick late in regulation and a close shot by JP Ward in overtime that would have won it for the Wolves.

The tense conclusion of regulation and overtime was matched in the shootout where the outcome was pushed to seven rounds.

Both teams converted their first two shots; Coupeville earning goals from Wilsey and Nathan Lamb.

Pelant's shot was wide and the Falcons took the lead when they converted in round three.

Ward scored with the fourth shot while Forland stopped the Falcon attempt to even the match. Phillips and his South Whidbey counterpart each scored on the fifth shot to send the match to sudden death.

Sean Donley and South Whidbey (3-1, 4-1) each knocked home the sixth shot, setting up David Hefflinger's game winner. After Hefflinger's score, the the Falcons' seventh attempt thumped off the post and the Wolves collected the win.

Mendes said Forland "stepped up big in the shootout, making the big save and getting his hand on two other shots that went in."

He added, "Zach was reading their shots well, and he put us in a position to win the game."

Coupeville (1-3, 2-3) plays Granite Falls (1-3, 2-4) at 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 3, at Mickey Clark Field, then goes to Sultan (0-4, 0-6) at 7 p.m. Friday.

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