Wolves rip rivals | Soccer

JP Ward reacts to his goal against South Whidbey Friday. - John Fisken / Whidbey News-Times
JP Ward reacts to his goal against South Whidbey Friday.
— image credit: John Fisken / Whidbey News-Times

This was no upset.

On paper, South Whidbey appears to have the better soccer team this season. But Coupeville dominates were it matters -- on the field and on the scoreboard -- when the two teams meet, including a 3-1 win Friday, April 20, at Mickey Clark Field.

This completed a two-game sweep of the season series for the Wolves.

When the two team met March 30, Coupeville won 1-0 in a shootout. South Whidbey entered the match with a 3-0 league record, having outscored conference opponents 11-0. The Wolves were 0-3 and were outscored 2-11.

The stats were similar when the two rivals collided Friday. South Whidbey sported a 7-3 (8-4, overall) record to Coupeville's 3-6 (5-6) and had outscored foes 40-7. The Wolves had been outscored 13-19.

Coupeville coach Paul Mendes said, "This is a pretty intense rivalry; anything can happen no matter what the records."

Coupeville, behind an inspired offense, punched in three goals against a Falcon defense that had only once given up as many as two goals in a match.

Defensively, the Wolves, led by first-time starter Kole Kellison in goal, thwarted the high-scoring Falcons. The Wolves "marked up well," Mendes said and slowed South Whidbey scoring machine Noah Moeller.

Kellison, subbing for injured Zach Forland, made an impressive varsity debut.

Mendes said of Kellison, "I admire his courage. The key moment of the game was his save."

Five minutes into the second half, Kellison dove to his right to block a hot shot by the Falcons. That goal kept South Whidbey from tying the match and gaining the momentum.

Coupeville dominated the game early, keeping Falcon keeper Garret Thomson busy.

In the 14th minute, JP Ward stole a poor South Whidbey pass directly in front of the goal and drilled the game's first goal from 12 yards out.

The South Whidbey offense perked up and Moeller, in the 20th minute, raced down the right sideline and fired in a diagonal goal that hit the right post and bounced in.

Eight minutes later, Coupeville countered. After several nice passes, the final one from Sean Donley, Nathan Lamb cleared himself and booted in the go-ahead goal from 15 yards.

The second half opened with Kellison's diving save, and South Whidbey had few other good opportunities.

Coupeville scored the clincher with 8:30 left in the match. The Wolves lofted a free kick from mid field to the front of the Falcon goal that ricocheted off several players. In the scramble, Lamb got off a shot that was deflected away from Thomson and into the goal.

South Whidbey coach Joel Gerlach was not happy with the call that awarded the Wolves the free kick. He said the "refs get an assist."

Gerlach praised the Wolves and their coaching staff: "The first one (the March 20 match) was an upset, not this one. They played a 3-6-1; we had never seen that before. Paul did a great job of coaching."

Mendes said, "This was our biggest win, our most complete game. We played good defense, played well in the mid field and scored on our chances."

Coupeville (4-6, 6-6) goes to Granite Falls (1-8, 2-9) Monday, April 23, and then plays Sultan (1-10, 1-12) at home at 6 p.m. Wednesday.

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