Soccer: Oak Harbor scares first-place Lake Stevens

“You should have been there, the game was amazing,” were the first words out of Oak Harbor boys soccer coach Brian Thompson’s mouth when describing his club’s 4-2 home loss to Lake Stevens Friday, April 16.

Not often will a coach be thrilled about a loss, but in a season of misfortune, Thompson saw his troops battle punch-for-punch with the powerful Vikings.

Lake Stevens is 8-1-1 on the year and in first place in the Wesco North. Oak Harbor is winless in 10 games and didn’t net a goal in the first seven. Thompson said Lake Stevens strolled into Wildcat Memorial Stadium and expected “an easy time of it.”

However, this isn’t the same Oak Harbor team that struggled through most of the season. The Wildcats are finally getting to full strength; key personnel had been missing all season because of a variety of issues, primarily injuries. Also, the young and inexperienced players forced into action are maturing into stronger soccer players. The result is a more competitive team, and Lake Stevens tasted that first hand.

The Wildcats scored first and got the Vikings’ attention. Michael Shevchuk, off an assist from Greg Wolfe, gave Oak Harbor its first lead of the season.

Thompson said you could see, as the game progressed, that Lake Stevens “was worried,” began to panic and used very aggressive play to try to intimidate the Wildcats. Oak Harbor did not back down.

While Oak Harbor played “its best game of the season,” it also had two breakdowns that were costly. The ‘Cats scored two own goals, one off a cross and the other off a corner kick, that enabled the frustrated Vikings to get some breathing room.

Lake Stevens was able to punch in two other goals to take a 4-1 lead.

Marcos Anjos headed in Oak Harbor’s final score off a pass from Ryan Fakkema.

Thompson said, “Our team played really, really well. The guys played their hearts out. I am really happy for them; they are really starting to come together.”

The Wildcats play back-to-back home games next week. Everett comes to Oak Harbor Tuesday, April 20, and Marysville-Pilchuck visits the next night. Both games start at 7:30.

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