Sports

Defense sparks Cats' soccer team in key win

"Steve Barber teaches English at Oak Harbor High School. However, the other day, Barber sounded more like a U.S. history teacher.In describing the play of the defenders on Oak Harbor's soccer team, Barber said they are playing like a Stonewall.It was during the Civil War's first battle of Bull Run that Confederate general Thomas Jackson was given the Stonewall nickname for his determined defensive stand.Stonewall would be proud of Oak Harbor's Stonewalls. The Wildcats' defenders have made it quite difficult for opponents to attack the goal this season. In particular, the defenders were very resolute in their holding off a strong Shorecrest team Tuesday night.It was the defense, and Chris Olson's scoring, that enabled Oak Harbor to post a crucial 2-1 4-A Western Conference victory in Memorial Stadium.Our defenders ran up against a real good Shorecrest team. They held them off, Barber said. They have been playing very well lately. Because of our defense, it's making it possible for other guys to find a way to score.Olson scored the first goal on a penalty kick. Then assists by Andy Benson and Kellen Ward set up Olson's second goal.In recent weeks, the Wildcats have shown uncanny scoring balance. While Olson usually figures in the scoring, either with goals or assists, the Wildcats have had different scorers, too. For instance, when Oak Harbor topped Marysville-Pilchuck 2-1 in overtime last Friday, Micah Pruss scored one of the goals. In the dramatic 3-2 double overtime victory over Kamiak on April 25, Ward scored two goals and Brent Thompson one. Brian Gliniak, a fullback, has often been brought up to the attack during the season and scored goals. We're hard to defend. No one knows who will step up and score for us, Barber said.Tuesday's victory was Oak Harbor's third straight. The Wildcats, 5-3-0 in league, moved into a tie for fifth with Shorecrest.We're playing well. We're hitting on all cylinders, Barber said. Oak Harbor, which is making a run for the playoffs, was just one point behind Sehome and Cascade for third place entering Friday's game at Sehome.The Wildcats close out their regular season next Tuesday at home against Cascade."

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