Sports

Pirate soccer team squeaks past the Cascade Christian Cougars

Pirate goalkeeper Robert McGinnis, second from right, directs traffic as Jackson McFall, right, and Elias Weston, second from left, clear the ball after a Cascade Christian corner kick. - Rik Forschmiedt photo
Pirate goalkeeper Robert McGinnis, second from right, directs traffic as Jackson McFall, right, and Elias Weston, second from left, clear the ball after a Cascade Christian corner kick.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt photo

Although the cold wind felt anything but springlike, the Pirate soccer boys closed out the first half of the spring season with a 2-1 win over the visiting Cascade Christian Cougars last Tuesday, March 31.

With 25 minutes gone in the first half, Jens Lunblad, the Pirates’ not-so-secret Swedish weapon, took a feed from Michael Butz and fired the ball past the Cougars’ keeper to put the home team up 1-0, a lead that held up until halftime.

Both teams intensified the attack, and six minutes into the second period Cascade Christian’s Brandon Bills beat Vashon keeper Robert McGinnis one-on-one to tie the score.

In the 63rd minute of the game Thomas Timm-Skove got the ball after a Vashon throw-in, wove through about 40 yards of blue-clad Cougars and placed the ball in the back of the net, just out of reach of a diving keeper.

The win leaves Vashon 3-1 in the Nisqually League standings.

After the game, coach Paul Beytebiere praised the Pi-

rates collectively and individually while reminding them that the second half of the season will be tougher than the first half. Vashon returns on April 14 to host a Chimacum team expected to be stronger than when the Pirates won 6-2 in both teams’ league opener.

Rematches with powerhouse Charles Wright, Life Christian and Cascade Christian and two matches with Orting remain before playoffs begin April 30.

The Pirate JV held a 2-1 lead over the Cougar JV with seven minutes to go in their match but couldn’t stop the visitors’ Wonseok Yang Jr. from scoring two un-assisted goals in the closing minutes.

Cascade’s Blake Oliveira put the Cougars up 1-0 in the 36th minute with the assist going to Yang.

Pirate Max Herrington had thought he would have to leave at halftime for a family obligation, but begged to be put back in the game when he learned he could stay a bit longer. He made it worthwhile in the 56th minute when he scored a goal with an assist from Dom Stemer.

Two minutes later Andy Hennessey, reluctantly moving to midfield this game from his accustomed position in the defensive line, gave Vashon its temporary lead with an assist from Nathan Osgood.

An easygoing but efficient refereeing crew kept the games under control and allowed the intense but friendly rivalries to play out. Players from both teams cleaned up the hot dogs, chili and lasagna at the traditional Vashon Pharmacy post-game barbeque hosted by Pirate parents.

— Rik Forschmiedt is a former Beachcomber sports editor and a volunteer assistant coach with the Pirate soccer team.

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