Coupeville’s soccer team has tasted victory three times this season and two of the wins have been against Friday Harbor.
The first victory over the Wolverines came in the opening game of the season March 15 by a 4-2 score, but the second win was a far more important one.
On Wednesday, the two teams squared off at Mickey Clark Field in a Northwest District Class 1A tournament play-in game.
The winner advanced to the second round to face King’s and the loser was eliminated from playoff competition.
Coupeville was handicapped right from the beginning of the game with five players, including seniors Zane Jorgensen and Calvin Youderian, along with junior captain Gary Manker out of action due to illness.
Despite being shorthanded and having two junior varsity players in the starting lineup, the Wolves refused to surrender, battling the Wolverines from the opening kickoff. And their efforts were rewarded.
With 15 minutes remaining in the contest, junior midfielder Jaren Tso bounced a shot off the right goal post past Friday Harbor keeper Avery Adams for the lone score of the game and a 1-0 Coupeville victory.
After the game, coach Paul Mendes said he was very proud of the way the Wolves played.
“I was quite proud given the fact that we were missing a number of starting players today,” he said. “We had five kids out sick and the junior varsity players I brought up for the game really stepped up today,” he said.
The first half was scoreless with neither team mounting a scoring threat.
Friday Harbor out shot Coupeville nine to four and Wolves’ goal keeper Joshua Adams made seven saves.
“Our keeper did a good job and the experience he has was invaluable,” Mendes said.
Coupeville put the pressure on early in the second half but was unable to find the net until Tso got a feed from sophomore captain Geoff Wacker and bounced the ball in Friday Harbor’s net past the diving Adams.
“It was a nice ball and I was afraid I wasn’t going to get it because I was kind of shorter than their guy,” Tso said. “It was a really good goal and I was really lucky on it.”
Mendes said the game wasn’t pretty, but it was effective.
“The ball took a little bounce there and that helped us,” he said. “We defended pretty well in today’s game and we got a few chances, not many, but we got the shutout. This was our first shutout of the season and it was a great time to get it.”
On Thursday, the Wolves lost a 2-1 decision to King’s in the second round of the playoffs.
Coupeville will play Lynden Christian for the Northwest District’s number three seed.
The game is set for 11 a.m. today at the Mount Vernon High School stadium.