Cardinal soccer finishes strong with three straight victories
Medical Lake boys’ soccer coach Zane Higgins certainly liked the results his team produced last week as they rebounded from a last-minute 3-2 loss April 18 against regular season champion Lakeside.
The team’s two wins, 5-1 over Newport last Tuesday and 9-0 Thursday at home against Riverside, concluded the Cardinals’ Northeast A League season and earned them a second place finish with a 6-3 record.
By the time the Cardinals got a 2-1 overtime win this past Monday over Newport – the result sending them onto round two of the playoffs this past Wednesday at Lakeside in a seeding game – a pair of school scoring records had fallen. Medical Lake improved to 10-6 overall with the win.
So what’s not to like? In the rout of Riverside it was an apparent abandonment of the team game.
It was kind of a back-and-forth game at the beginning, Higgins said. “We were playing real well the first 10 minutes of the game,” as the Cardinals took a 2-0 lead on goals from Damian Lawson at 2 minutes and Dallas White in the 22nd minute.
Then things changed as the Cardinals took more of an individual approach. “They scored a lot of goals against them (Riverside) in the past; the guys were a little goal hungry, trying to do it all themselves rather than work as a team,” Higgins said.
“Once we settled down and worked the ball around the goals came a lot easier,” Higgins said. And boy did they as the Cards broke open the contest with five goals in just seven minutes to lead 7-0 at the break.
Ryan Spangler opened the onslaught with the first of his two first-half goals at 31 minutes. Tony Manzo scored two minutes later and then it was Spangler, again, in the 34th minute. Dallas White connected at 36 minutes and Will Noble capped the half with his goal in the 38th minute.
Jordan Majocha (64th minute) and Noble (75th minute) concluded the scoring. Lawson finished with a goal and four assists while Seth Hansen added three assists, setting a new school record for assists with 15 through this past Monday’s playoff win over Newport, Higgins said.
Steven Velasquez and Brendan Satcher shared the shutout making three saves.
Monday’s playoff game with Newport forced the Cardinals to play more of a team game as they were hit with yet another red card at the 10-minute mark and played the remaining 80 minutes short handed.
“We had to fight back,” Higgins said. “They scored on us about five minutes after we went down.” White scored to even it at 26 minutes.
“It felt pretty good because we were still getting a lot of chances to score,” Higgins said.
The second half was more of the same with a lot of good scoring chances but no goals Higgins said. “Three minutes into overtime Taylor Masteller took the ball down the right side and put a hard cross to the middle and Dallas pout it in,” Higgins said. White’s goal allowed him to break the school record for goals with 22.
The week began with a home game versus Newport where Medical Lake got a pair of first-half goals from Lawson and led 2-0. Kirill Lesnykh made it 3-0 with a goal in the 50th minute. White and Ricky Petersen finished things with goals just three minutes apart – in the 65th and 68th minutes – to wrap it up a contest in which they launched 20 shots on the Grizzly goal.
“We were finishing very well that game,” Higgins said.
Paul Delaney can be reached at email@example.com.