SHORELINE — It was a great night for the Glacier Peak boys soccer team, and mostly because the Grizzlies got off to a great start against Shorecrest.
Glacier Peak got two goals in a little over a minute of the early first half Friday night and tacked on another about 15 minutes later, and that three-goal outburst helped propel the visitors to a 4-0 Western Conference 3A victory over the Scots on a cool and blustery, but thankfully dry night at Shoreline Stadium.
Senior midfielder Branson Corwin scored twice, and defender Blake Forman and forward Gabe White both added single goals for the Grizzlies, who improved to 3-1-1 in the young season.
“We finally had a full game where we put it all together to our capabilities,” said Glacier Peak coach Kyle Veach. “We were able to finish our opportunities and move the ball around real well against a good team.”
Games between Glacier Peak and Shorecrest are often close, hard-fought battles, but the Grizzlies jumped out early in this one and never gave their rivals a chance to rally.
“Whenever you can put the opposition on their back heel right away and have them second guessing (themselves), you have the upper hand,” Veach said. “But the challenge is how you keep that going. The boys are mentally strong and they were able to do that all night long for 80 minutes.”
Credit for shutouts often goes to goalkeepers, but Glacier Peak’s defenders were particularly effective against Shorecrest, giving the Scots few decent chances at the net.
“Our back line (players) all do a phenomenal job,” Veach said. “They understand their roles. And especially our two center backs, Matt (Johnston) and Blake (Forman), they’re phenomenal. They’re the ones that lock it down back there and make it a better experience for our keeper.
“A shutout is the goal and the boys know that,” he said. “So we went out there with that expectation and that’s what we were able to get.”
The Grizzlies got their first goal 11 minutes into the game after a free kick dropped the ball in front of the net. Shorecrest goalkeeper Spencer Haddenham-Gibler did not make a clean pick-up and Forman was in the right place to put it in the back of the net.
Glacier Peak scored again about a minute later when White pounced on a loose ball in front and banged it in.
Later in the half, Corwin got his first goal after a long pass into the box from fellow midfielder Peter Vizzoni. The ball ended up precisely on Corwin’s right foot and he sent a strong shot into the goal.
“We’ve been playing (together) since we were 4 years old, I think,” said Corwin of himself and Vizzoni. “We have a real connection, and just having him in the midfield and being able to play balls through, that’s going to be good for us all year.”
Corwin got the only goal of the second half after making a break down the left side, sidestepping a defender and delivering another blast past the goalkeeper.
Glacier Peak tied Shorewood in its Wesco opener on Tuesday, and after that disappointing outcome “I think we had something to show for ourselves,” Corwin said. “So we kind of brought it tonight. … These are big games with Shorecrest. We’ve always had a rivalry with them, and you just have to step up your game a little bit because these are the fun ones.”
Even with the Grizzlies off to a strong start this season, Veach said the team’s approach will remain unchanged.
“We have a great opportunity to go 1-0 every night,” he said. “That’s our goal. That’s our expectation. And if we can always have that mentality we’ll do just fine.”
At Shoreline Stadium
Goals—Greyden Saunders (GP), Gabe White (GP), Branson Corwin (GP) 2. Assists—Blake Forman (GP), Saunders, Peter Vizzoni (GP), Keven Duan (GP). Goalkeepers—Shorecrest: Spencer Haddenham-Gibler, Christian Gribsvad. Glacier Peak: Lucas MacMillan, Cameron Beardsley. Records—Shoreline 0-1-0 league, 2-1-0 overall. Glacier Peak 1-0-1, 3-0-1.