Annie Wright is no match for Vashon’s boys’ soccer
On April 15, the VHS varsity boys’ soccer team came through with a shutout victory in their first home game since winning the state championship in 2019.
Because Pierce County had rolled back to Phase Two, both Vashon and Annie Wright players took to the field fully masked. Annie Wright kicked off with confidence, and for mere seconds, the teams appeared evenly matched. Spectators settled in, hoping to witness a competitive game.
However, just minutes in, Vashon’s offense quickly set itself apart with multiple goal-scoring opportunities. Senior Bassam Almustafa had a run down the left wing and junior Jaimie Pereyda had a volley shot off a cross from senior Zach Van Dusen. Neither shot made it to the back of the net but it wouldn’t be long until the score shifted: within minutes, junior defender Teo Eckhardt played a ball to senior Jakob Heuschert, who scored Vashon’s first goal of the game.
Vashon expanded their early lead with a second goal in the 24th minute, when Van Dusen was fouled five yards to the right of the penalty box, drawing a free kick for Vashon. Heuschert took the free-kick and delivered a well-placed ball just inside the goal box where junior center back Levi Stahl was in the perfect position to redirect the ball into the back of the net with a strong header.
Annie Wright played hard, but Vashon had settled into their rhythm, maintaining most of the possession and seizing opportunities when they arose. Junior left wing Bellamy Cox showcased his footwork after collecting a pass from freshman Orion Knowler. Cox received the pass in the left corner of Annie Wright’s defensive half of the field. He carried the ball parallel to the end line, beating multiple Annie Wright defenders before finishing and bringing the score up to 3-0.
At the half, Vashon exited the field with a strong lead. As the second half kicked off, Vashon kept pushing offensively but the score stayed at a standstill for the first 11 minutes. In the 12th minute, Van Dusen carried it down the right wing and crossed it to Cox who was positioned for a shot. Cox tapped it to Heuschert, assisting Heuschert’s well-placed goal.
And 23 minutes into the second half, Zuckerman had a goal assisted by Van Dusen to make the score 5-0. Only four minutes later, Vashon scored again. Eckhardt won the ball and carried up the left wing, beating Annie Wright defenders and passing to senior Will Kim in the box who quickly relayed the ball to Pereyda. He took a hard shot that sailed past Annie Wright’s keeper and into the back of the net.
Not long after his assist and with less than 10 minutes left on the clock, Kim too had a goal. Vashon earned a throw-in and senior Chris Fontina delivered his signature powerful throw that arced into the goal box. No Vashon player got a clean touch on it but Kim knocked the ball in as it fumbled around the box, bringing the score up to 7-0. In the turmoil, Annie Wright’s keeper went down.
Play didn’t resume until over five minutes later after Vashon’s medical trainer had escorted the Annie Wright player off the field. Annie Wright had a goal-scoring opportunity in the final minutes but Vashon keeper Evan Keppler easily collected the ball. Keppler played a simple pass to Eckhardt, who pushed up the left side and passed to senior Ethan McIntyre — who scored a timely goal less than two minutes before the final whistle signaled the end of the game.
The VHS varsity boys’ soccer team did not disappoint and brought home an impressive 8-0 win.
“This team just keeps getting better,” said VHS Head Soccer coach Scott Nicolino. “That game was a great example of what we are capable of as we get healthy and on the same page. The depth was impressive as seven different players scored our eight goals.”
Vashon played again on Tuesday, after press time. The team’s next game is at 4 p.m. Thursday, April 22, at Life Christian Academy. — Lila Cohen, student
Ty Radford returns to the lineup as baseballers make progress
On April 12, varsity baseball played Bellevue Christian at Marymoor Park, taking their second shot at the Vikings this season. Bellevue threw another top-rated pitcher in the state, senior Mason Green.
Vashon applied pressure early with long at-bats and Will Weber’s hit-and-steal, causing Green to toss 26 pitches in the top of the first.
Sam Walker took the mound for Vashon and should have been out of the first inning cleanly but four errors allowed four runs. The Pirates righted the ship in the second inning with a quick one-two-three inning behind Walker’s continued solid pitching. Bellevue Christian jacked a two-run homer, as Vashon’s defense continued to tighten up in the second
Top of the fourth, Will Weber and Sam Walker had back-to-back singles and Will Frith brought them both home with a two-RBI double belted to left-center field off of Green. But in the bottom of the fourth, the Vikings started the hitter merry-go-round and added five runs.
Finn Hawkins provided strong relief pitching in the sixth, but the Pirates fell 11-2. However, the improvement from the first game against Bellevue was obvious and it was exciting to see the Pirates climbing the ladder.
The third and final regular-season game, against Bellevue Christian on April 14, was the most exciting of the three.
Finn Hawkins provided a great start, pitching two innings to open the game with three strikeouts and only one run allowed. Sharp defense including a heads-up play by Sam Walker in left field to double up the runner at second in the first finally got the Pirates off to a clean start against the Vikings.
In the bottom of the first inning, Maxwell Delgado-Williams, Finn Schriver and Sam Walker loaded the bases with singles. Will Frith started the scoring with an RBI walk, followed by Joshua Parrish’s RBI single and Finn Hawkins’ sacrifice fly to take an early 1-3 lead.
Senior Ty Radford, who had been sidelined with a hamstring injury, entered the game in the top of the third inning to pitch in relief. Radford had been providing leadership from the dugout so far this season, but you could easily see his excitement about being back on the field.
“Ty is our captain and we lost him just before the first game,” Coach Perrin said. “It was tough, but he continued to lead and then he had the hero’s entrance and pitched a great five innings.”
Radford had no rust and pitched well, but three errors by the Pirates kept the inning going, scoring 2. With the bases loaded and two out, Radford fired a fastball for a called third strike to get Vashon out of the inning.
Radford pumped his arms elated as he left the field.
“I’ve been looking forward to playing baseball and playing my senior year for a while and that was almost taken away from me, so I’m very happy and excited to play,” he said.
Radford continued to hold down the pitching in the top of the fourth, but four more errors added three runs.
The bottom of the fourth brought a two-out rally as Jack Harvey reached with catcher’s interference, Martin Ellison was hit by a pitch and Maxwell Delgado-Williams’ second hit in the game banged an RBI single making the score 6-4.
The top of the fifth proved, once again, that baseball continues to provide something new every time you go the ballpark, as center fielder Delgado-Williams caught all three outs in practically the exact same spot. The Pirates couldn’t capitalize on Joshua Parrish’s second hit of the game in the bottom of the frame, leaving him on the bases.
In the top of the fifth, Martin Ellison hit his second hard-hit single of the night up the middle, Finn Schriver doubled to score Ellison from first, who was flying around the bases and barely beat a close play at the plate to score. Will Weber kept another two-out rally going, Schriver scored from third on an errant throw down to second base, and the final inning started with the score at 10-6.
An error and a hit in the seventh added two more runs for the Vikings. Frith and Radford added two more hits, but the contest ended 12-6.
The Pirates had matched the Vikings in hits with each team racking up 14. Clean up the errors and that’s a win, which is a vast improvement from the 14-1, 4-hit first outing against Bellevue.
“Bellevue is senior-heavy right now, we are the opposite but that will switch in time,” said Coach Perrin. “We came back in this game and even took the lead. Everything is starting to come together. It shows the maturity of this young team and great team culture.”
The JV baseball team played their second game on April 16, traveling to Bothel to face Cedar Park.
Will Frith took the mound for the Pirates and ran into some hot bats as CPC went up 0-3. At the top of the second, the Pirates cranked up the hit machine. Aaron Brockschmidt and Stephen Daly singled, Danny Baldinger doubled and quickly the score was tied 3-3.
A couple of hits and a couple of errors added three more for CPC in the bottom of the second. But in the third inning, Frith stabilized the pitching and keep them scoreless for the next three innings with 6 strikeouts.
Vashon added two more runs in the top of the fourth, from a double by Maxwell Delgado-Williams and Baldinger’s second hit of the day. Frith’s second hit of the game and Brockschmidt’s walk mounted a surge in the fifth, but base running errors shut it down. Again in the sixth, the Pirates had two on but couldn’t push a run over home plate.
Jack Harvey pitched in relief, pumping in strikes. But, an error and a couple of hits provided two more runs for CPC. Vashon added one more on an error by the Eagles but fell 6-8 in a close game that felt in reach throughout.
Coach Perrin said, “We have both teams really moving forward and improving, which is an excellent sign for our program now and the future.”
Varsity has home games against Cascade Christian at 4 p.m. Tuesday and Friday, April 27 and 30, at Jim Martin Field.
— Eric Frith, parent