EVERETT — After losing four out of its past five boys soccer games, Mariner was in desperate need of a lift going into Tuesday’s night’s Wesco 4A South match against Jackson.
The Marauders found that lift from the most unlikely of sources — two freshmen.
Edward Katynskiy scored the opening goal less than five minutes into the match and finished with two goals and one assist in Mariner’s 5-0 win over the Timberwolves. Fellow freshman teammate Efren Martinez added a goal and an assist in the victory.
The Marauders’ victory keeps them just two points behind Cascade for second place in the Wesco South.
“There is just like butterflies all over my stomach right now,” Katynskiy said after the match. “This is the happiest moment I’ve ever had through my soccer (career), for my club team and for Mariner.”
Katynskiy’s early goal gave his team a 1-0 lead, but the Marauders were unable to capitalize on numerous other first-half opportunities and settled for a one-goal lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Marauders exploded for four goals and turned what once was a close game into a blowout.
Junior Eduardo Carmona-Lara scored in the 48th minute to give the Marauders a two-goal cushion. With a more comfortable lead Mariner added a three-goal flurry late in the game to make up the final margin.
The first of those three goals belonged to Martinez, who swings between the JV and varsity teams. He scored in the 67th minute on his first touch of the game on an assist from Katynskiy.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Martinez said. “In the JV game, I didn’t do good so I felt like I needed to step my game up and make an impact on the varsity.”
Almost before Mariner coach Vince DeSimone could look up after Martinez entered the game, his team was mobbing Martinez to celebrate his first goal.
“I looked up and he got a goal — perfect,” DeSimone said.
Less than two minutes later Katynskiy added his second goal to give the Marauders a four-goal advantage.
DeSimone had been working with Katynskiy on his toughness after bringing him up from JV and that work paid off on Tuesday.
“I told him you’ve got to play a little bit more tough,” DeSimone said. “’You’ve got to use your shoulders and use your size and don’t be scared because if you’re scared they’re going to hurt you.’ It took him like three games and tonight he finally came out stronger. He was using his body and making good kicks at the ball and he was at the right place at the right moment and got a beautiful goal.”
Mariner sophomore Abdullah Sabah scored the game’s final goal moments later.
Scoring has been a problem throughout the season for the Marauders, but if Tuesday’s game is any indication, they just might be ready to break out of their slump.
“If they put it together and score goals, it would be kind of hard to beat them,” DeSimone said of his players. “The only problem on many nights is that they can’t score goals. They get there and they choke, but tonight they didn’t. I hope it’s a turning point for us.”
Mariner and Jackson had tied earlier in the season, but if it wasn’t for starting goalkeeper Armando Huerta they might have lost Tuesday’s game by 10 or more. Huerta made save after save in the game’s first 40 minutes to keep the Timberwolves within one goal.
“Even the first game we played them, that keeper saved their bacon,” DeSimone said. “He was all over the field like today. He made so many saves — a great keeper.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Goddard Stadium
Goals–Edward Katynskiy (M) 2, Eduardo Carmona-Lara (M), Efren Martinez (M), Abdullah Sabah (M). Assists–Miguel Lopez (M), Reyes Casillas (M), Edward Katynskiy (M), Jorge Ruiz (M), Efren Martinez (M). Goalkeepers–Jackson: Armando Huerta. Mariner: Silvan Katynskiy, Timofy Kovalchuk. Records–Jackson 4-7-1 league, 4-8-1 overall. Mariner 6-4-2, 6-4-2.