By Chris Trujillo For The Weekly Herald
EDMONDS — Forward Abdul Aman scored on a breakaway in the second minute and the North Sound SeaWolves held on to defeat the Fraser Valley Mariners 1-0 in a Premier Development League Northwest Division soccer match June 8 at Edmonds Stadium.
The first time he touched the ball, Aman slipped past a group of defenders on the left flank and fired a shot from inside 10 yards, beating Fraser Valley goal keeper Mark Village to score the game’s lone goal.
“It feels good to get this win,” Aman said. “I was able to score on my first touch of the night and that is always nice. I controlled the ball and the goalie came out, but I was able to put the ball underneath him to finish it off. We’re fighting for the playoffs, so it’s important for us to stay focused and play as hard as we can every game.”
Aman leads the SeaWolves with four goals, two of which have come against the winless Mariners. His first came in the season opener, a 2-1 victory at Fraser Valley May 20. Since receiving a red card in a loss to the Washington Crossfire May 24, which forced him to sit out a June 4 game against the Kitsap Pumas, Aman has scored two of the team’s last four goals and ranks eighth in the league (PDL) in shots with 23 through June 10.
Though the offense set the pace early, it was North Sound’s defense that kept the SeaWolves’ hope for a second straight win alive, specifically a remarkable save by goalkeeper Claudio Lazar in the 76th minute. Lazar knocked away a point-blank range shot from Fraser Valley forward Adrian Kekee, who placed himself just feet away from Lazar when a loose ball fell his way.
“The defense didn’t have a chance to clear the ball,” Lazar said. “So their guy got a one-on-one with me, and he took the shot and I responded. I think I just got lucky, but I made the save. I saw that he was right-footed and I figured that he had to go to my left, so that’s where I went and, fortunately, I was able to make the stop.”
Lazar, a Romanian native, made five saves and recorded his first shutout. He had three shutouts in 2011 to go with 67 total saves. He has nearly 40 saves to date.
“It feels really good to get the shutout win,” Lazar said. “Especially because we worked so hard. We forced them to score, so I am proud of the way we stopped them. But they stayed in the game and they didn’t give up.”
The SeaWolves saw their two-game winning spree end June 10 in a 3-0 loss to the division leading Sounders FC U23 (5-1-3). North Sound dropped to 3-4 and are tied with Victoria for sixth place.
North Sound plays at the Portland Timbers (5-2-1) at 5 p.m., June 17. The SeaWolves’ next home game is 7:30 p.m. June 20 against the Washington Crossfire (5-2-1).