By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
SHORELINE — The Shorewood Thunderbirds suffered a 2-0 defeat at the hands of Glacier Peak in the second game of the season.
They more than made up it Friday night, beating the Grizzlies 3-0 and taking sole possession of first place in the 3A Wesco South in the process.
“We had only played one preseason game and between their strong play and us just not being used to each other it was a very poor performance,” Shorewood coach Bill Wilkins said of the first meeting between the two teams. “I think the kids have just slowly started to build and today was their best performance.”
After losing very few seniors a year ago, the Grizzlies, it would be fair to say, could be considered the favorite in the league. The Thunderbirds on the other hand lost several players from the team that lost to eventual state champion Bainbridge in the quarterfinals.
This year’s Thunderbirds team has accepted and responded to the challenge.
“It’s been a gradual process, finding our roles and finding our system and they executed today,” Wilkins said.
The game was a defensive battle for most of the first half until sophomore Kabir Khan redirected a cross from Anthony Pepe in the 38th minute to give the Thunderbirds a 1-0 lead. Instead of taking the one-goal lead into halftime, the Thunderbirds stayed on the attack in the final minutes. Junior Danny Han lofted a downfield pass to junior Dylan Collins who had the presence of mind to stay onsides and then control the ball breaking away from the defender and beating Glacier Peak goalkeeper Lucas MacMillan with just 21.5 seconds remaining in the half.
“The momentum is huge,” Wilkins said. “That was huge. It’s always great to score towards the end. It just gives you that extra motivation going into halftime.”
The Thunderbirds took the 2-0 lead into halftime, but clearly were on the prowl for more in the opening minutes of the second half.
“I’m not necessarily a believer in this, but most soccer coaches will tell you a 2-0 lead is the worst lead to have,” Wilkins said. “We just kind of went back to, we need to win another half. You win two halves, you win the game.”
The Thunderbirds (7-1-1 league, 9-1-1 overall) did just that by adding a third goal in the 52nd minute. This time it was Han scoring on an assists from Max Sando and Taj McChesney.
The Grizzlies (6-2-1, 6-5-1) had several opportunities in the second half, but came up empty-handed each time.
It has been an interesting week for Glacier Peak. They were upset by Marysville Getchell last Friday, only to come back and defeat Stanwood, the first-place team out of the Wesco 3A North on Tuesday and then regress again against Shorewood.
“For whatever reason we weren’t as sharp as we were on Tuesday, or even last time we saw (Shorewood),” Glacier Peak head coach Shannon Murray said. “Even saying that, those are two good teams and I think those are two good teams that will be there at the end of the day and we’ve got something to work on for the next time.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Shoreline Stadium
Goals—Kabir Khan (S), Dylan Collins (S), Danny Han (S). Assists—Anthony Pepe (S), Danny Han (S), Max Sando (S),Taj McChesney (S). Goalkeepers—Glacier Peak: Jesus Mendoza, Lucas MacMillan; Shorewood: Calvin Crawford. Records—Glacier Peak 6-2-1 league, 6-5-1 overall; Shorewood 7-1-1, 9-1-1.