Wildcats rain on Mariner

"^A cool, steady rain made Wednesday night miserable for fans and the visiting Mariner Marauders in Memorial Stadium. However, the storm didn't dampen the enthusiasm of Oak Harbor's soccer team. ^The Wildcats unleashed a downpour of goals as they washed away Mariner 7-0 in a 4-A Western Conference contest. Chris Olson and Brent Thompson each had hat tricks as Oak Harbor tallied a season-high for goals.^We played pretty well tonight, said Olson, it's really coming together for us now. We're playing with a lot of confidence.^The victory was Oak Harbor's third straight and its second in league play. Oak Harbor, 2-0 in league and 5-2-1 overall, finished the week tied with Sehome for first place.^A hard practice on Tuesday morning might have been one of the differences Wednesday night for the Wildcats, who dominated play right from the beginning of the contest. Oak Harbor worked on passing skills Tuesday and that practice helped the Wildcats dissect Mariner's defense.^All the hard work paid off, said Oak Harbor coach Steve Barker. We did a nice job of passing the ball and spreading the field. What was nice to see was that our players were unselfish. They played for each other.^Every goal but one had an assist. Kellen Ward, who had a goal, had three assists.^Ward, off a pass from Micah Pruss, sprinted pass the Mariner defenders and scored Oak Harbor's first goal, 20 minutes into the game. For while, it appeared that might be the only goal of the first half. However, in the last six minutes of the first half, Oak Harbor riddled the Mariner goal for three more scores.^Thompson, off a pass from Fisher, got his first goal of the game with six minutes left in the half. Then with 3:50 left in the half, passes by Ward and Jason Fisher set up Olson for his first goal.^With two minutes left, Thompson stole the ball away from Mariner and blasted a 30-yarder into the net, giving Oak Harbor a 4-0 halftime lead.^In the second half, Oak Harbor went ahead 5-0 with 19:30 left when Olson, off a cross from Pruss, connected for his second goal. Thompson followed nine minutes later when he got a pass from Ward and blasted a shot into the far left corner of the net.^A minute later, Olson, off a pass from Ward, wrapped up the night's scoring with his third goal.^Besides its potent offense, Oak Harbor had another strong effort from goalkeeper Craig Vanderstoep and its defenders. Vanderstoep, who made two sensational saves, recorded his third straight shutout.^We scored a lot of goals tonight but our defense played quite well and enabled us to put a lot of pressure on them, Barker said. When you have defense and passing, you win ball games.^Oak Harbor plays at Shorewood Monday, then returns home Wednesday to entertain unbeaten Snohomish."

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