BOTHELL — The Lynnwood Royals may have prevailed first, but it was the Edmonds-Woodway Warriors who won when it mattered.
Edmonds-Woodway avenged a non-conference loss to Lynnwood from earlier in the season, controlling play from start to finish as the Warriors defeated the Royals 3-0 in Wesco 3A boys soccer Wednesday night at Lynnwood High School.
Simon Ghebreamiak came off the bench to record two goals and an assist, and Armon Tenaw also scored for the Warriors (5-0-1 league, 5-3-2 overall), who knocked off a Lynnwood team that beat them 4-2 when they met on March 21.
“We were a lot more organized than the first time we played them,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Mike Ochoa said. “Over the past four games the team has really showed some leadership in the back, leadership in the center, tougher defensively. We knew this game was coming up, we saw that Lynnwood had been doing really well. I think that defense (marshaled by center backs Cameron Cohn and Njaka Jammeh) was the main thing that won this game.”
It was a challenging start to the season for Edmonds-Woodway, which lost several key players from last season’s 3A state semifinal team and is transitioning to Ochoa from longtime coach Tony Gilman. In the midst of the changes the Warriors opened the season 0-3-1.
But Wednesday’s victory made Edmonds-Woodway 5-0-1 in its past six, and the Warriors leapfrogged Lynnwood (5-1-0, 6-2-0) into first place in the conference. The Royals had a six-game winning streak snapped.
The Warriors set the tone from the opening kickoff, getting a premium scoring chance in the game’s first 30 seconds as Kyle Aure got behind the Lynnwood defense only to see his shot saved by Royals goalkeeper Tyler Stull.
Edmonds-Woodway continued to force Stull into saves until finding the breakthrough in the 27th minute. Nick Hopper sent a corner kick into the penalty box and Ghebreamiak, who had just come onto the field as a substitute, wasn’t picked up by the Royals defense as he attacked the cross. Ghebremiak powered his free header into the corner of the net to give the Warriors a 1-0 lead.
It didn’t take long for Edmonds-Woodway to double its lead. This time Ghebreamiak was the provider as, five minutes after the opening goal, he stabbed a bouncing ball toward Tenaw at the edge of the box. Tenaw turned, shielding the ball from his marker, and fired a shot that thundered off the underside of the crossbar and into the net to make it 2-0.
The second half was much like the first, with the Warriors controlling possession and giving no chance for Lynnwood’s dangerous forward duo of Dane Evanger and Ryley Johnson to make an impact on the game. Then Ghebreamiak clinched it with five minutes remaining. Edmonds-Woodway broke on the counter with Lukas Engstrom racing down the right. Engstrom cut the ball back to the top of the box, where Ghebreamiak met it first time and chipped it over Lynnwood substitute goalkeeper Luis Jimenez to complete a comprehensive Warriors victory.