The Vashon Pirates kicked off what will surely be an exciting soccer season on Saturday. Despite the frigid temperatures, the Pirate boys ended up with a tie 1-1 game, impressive when playing Overlake, first in State last year.
The Pirates come off a remarkable 2018 season with 14 wins, two losses and three ties. They were the Nisqually League Champions and District III Champions last year, although they lost in the first round of the play-offs.
Though a large number of seniors graduated from the Pirates last year, a core of experienced and talented players remained and showed up in the cold contest on Saturday. While former First Team Nisqually League honoree Finley Oswald was out of town with his premier soccer team, last year’s Nisqually League champion and league goal leader Tommy Delargy was there for Saturday’s game, along with others who were key in 2018 (senior Elliot Eades, junior Jermiah Bogaard and sophomore Jakob Heuschert all were second team last year and were there for Saturday’s game).
The Saturday game was a nailbiter. Vashon dominated much of the first half, following a number of goal attempts by the home team. Goalie Richard Gutierrez-Rivas was back for the Pirates and faced multiple shots, including one impressive stop on a free kick. Besides Delargy, Herschert and Freddi Gutierrez-Rivas also took shots on goal in the first half. The final score at the half was 0-0.
Early in the second half, Overlake scored on a corner kick, making the score 1-0. Heuschert made another close attempt on goal, but the Pirates remained scoreless as the time wound down. As the play got more aggressive, Overlake was given a yellow card when Delargy was hit in the face by a swinging elbow.
The Pirates did finally score near the end after a beautiful goal from Delargy, who wound his way through several people before getting to the goal to tie the game. At the other end of the field, the Pirates keeper made several additional impressive stops the rest of the game.
Eades, Bogaard and junior Cameron Bedard had especially strong outings on Saturday in addition to the indomitable force of Delargy. Much of the focus this season will be on Delargy and Oswald and how much they can continue their support on the front and in the middle to make Vashon a scoring machine again.
Also back for the Pirates are seniors Will Hennessey and Isaac Ajeto, as well as a number of players who have moved up from junior varsity, including Chris Fontina and Hunter Denall and others, including freshman Bellamy Cox-Sitkiewicz. The Pirates also have a full junior varsity team with lots of strong promise, so the future looks good for the Vashon team.
After press time, the Pirates played Kings at home Monday night. On Thursday the Pirates play Steilacoom away, and on Saturday they travel to South Kitsap for an afternoon game.
— Lauri Hennessey is the mother of a Pirate soccer player.