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Soccer: Wolves win in shootout, head to state
It took a little extra work, but the Coupeville boys soccer team avenged an earlier loss to Meridian with a 2-1 shootout win Saturday, May 15, at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham.
The win gave Coupeville the No. 3 seed from district heading into this week's state playoffs.
The Wolves (12-8) begin the round of 16 Tuesday, May 18, against Overlake (16-0-1) at Bellevue's Sammamish High School at 7 p.m.
Meridian upended Coupeville 2-0 during sub-district play, but the Wolves bounced back to stop the Trojans last Saturday.
Coach Paul Mendes said, "We played really well, one of our goals was to pick up where we left off." The Wolves came into the Meridian match after defeating Orting 2-1 May 12.
It didn't take Coupeville long to get on the board in the win over Meridian. Garrett Knoll rammed in a goal in the eighth minute off an assist from Riley Quinn.
Mendes said, "Garrett played a really fine game, not just the goal."
Goal keeper Evan Ameluxen-Coleman and his defense shut out Meridian in the first half. Isaac Wacker took over in the goal for Coupeville in the second half.
Mendes said after Coupeville controlled the first half, Meridian "came alive" in the second half and it was a more balanced game.
Meridian scored the equalizer in the 61st minute.
Mendes said the Wolves had several opportunities to score in the second half, the best when Nevin Miranda was just wide on a shot.
With the score tied 1-1, the two teams went into overtime, and although both teams had chances, according to Mendes, neither could net the game winner. That led to a shootout.
In a shootout, five members of each team, with the teams alternating, go one-on-one with the goalie.
Coupeville went first and missed, followed by a Trojan score. In the second round, Jordan Lamb hit for the Wolves and Meridian missed.
Coupeville then took the lead 2-1 as Knoll found the net and Wacker denied Meridian with a "great save," according to Mendes.
In the fourth round, Coupeville missed and Meridian scored to even it up at 2, setting up the decisive fifth shot.
That put freshman Nathan Lamb and junior Wacker in the heat of the spotlight for Coupeville.
Lamb did his job and nailed the shot for the Wolves. Wacker also responded as he got a hand on the Trojan shot, according to Mendes. The ball hit the post, bounced away and Coupeville won.
Mendes lauded Lamb for handling the pressure and said, "He also played really well during the game."
Mendes was particularly pleased with his team because he played his entire roster and "all contributed." He said, "We wanted to see what some could do."
He added, "Our level of passing continues to be strong. We have a very balanced team; it's a good group."