In two games, Pirates suffer loss, then take last-minute win

A loss then a last-minute victory left the Pirate varsity boys soccer team with a 2-1 record in Nisqually League play after last week’s games. The JV team had only one game, a 4-4 tie with Charles Wright.

The varsity finished the week with a 2-1 win at Life Christian on Thursday after a disappointing 4-0 loss to arch-rival Charles Wright at home Tuesday.

Vashon scored all three goals in the Life Christian game. A defensive miscue on a Life Christian corner kick put the ball in the back of the net in the 10th minute, giving the Eagles a 1-0 lead that held up until two-thirds of the way through the second half.

The Pirates, having practiced and played only on muddy grass until Thursday, had some trouble adjusting to the faster artificial surface at the field in Puyallup.

Visibly upset after the first half, Pirate coach Paul Beytebiere implored his team to step it up when they took the field after the break. The Vashon boys responded with an assault on the Eagle defense, resulting in several corner kicks as the game progressed.

Tyler Sayvetz took control on the right side of the field and, in the 68th minute, took a feed from David Salonen and lofted a shot to the upper right corner of the goal. It looked from the sideline like an easy save for the Eagle keeper, but he either misjudged the path of the ball or a gust of wind took it and dropped it behind him into the net.

With the game tied at 1-1 and the clock into injury time, Pirate Jens Lundblad was awarded one last corner kick. As he approached the ball, he saw a Life Christian defender shift and adjusted his kick accordingly. Elias Weston was waiting on the far side of the goal box and one-touched the ball in for the winning score, a play right out of a “how to take a corner kick” training video. The final whistle came about 20 seconds later before the Eagles could regroup.

Michael Butz anchored the defense for the Pirates, clearing the ball well past midfield or feeding it to the outside. Beytebiere credited Lucian Pizzano and Jessie Hazzard with stepping up their level of play to make a difference in the second half.

“They were more aggressive, but they weren’t better than us,” said Beytebiere of the Eagles, a team in their first year of full varsity competition.

Charles Wright scored in the eighth, 25th, 40th and 78th minutes in Tuesday’s varsity game. Vashon had chances and several shots that sailed just to one side of the goal or just over the crossbar.

In Tuesday’s JV game, Charles Wright struck quickly, with a goal in the second minute. Ezra Koenig answered in the 20th minute with an assist from Sam Crosby. Dylan Payne connected nine minutes later with Crosby again getting the assist. Payne made it 3-1 before halftime with an assist from Koenig.

The Tarriers came back with a quick goal in the second half then tied it with a goal in the 72nd minute. Tucker Lazare put the Pirates up 4-3 with five minutes to go, but Charles Wright got the final score with less than two minutes remaining.

Vashon hosted Cascade Christian yesterday, then takes a two-week break, returning to competition with a April 14 home game against Chimacum.

— Retired sports editor Rik Forschmiedt is a volunteer coach with the Pirate soccer team.

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