SHORELINE – Now that’s the way to cap a perfect 10.
Fueled by an early three-goal barrage, the nationally ranked Shorecrest High School boys soccer team won its 10th consecutive game Tuesday night.
Defender Jeff Batt, midfielder Garrett Musar and forward Josh Rudnick each tallied one goal and one assist to help propel the Scots to an impressive 5-1 Wesco South victory over Edmonds-Woodway at Shoreline Stadium.
Starting in the fifth minute, Shorecrest exploded for three goals in a 10-minute span. Jonathon Cho, Rudnick and Batt found the back of the net during the onslaught.
“We had a fantastic start tonight. It’s something we’ve been talking about as a team,” said Shorecrest coach Drew Thompson, whose team has outscored opponents 37-5 this season.
The Scots (10-0-1 in division and overall) are ranked No. 13 in the country in the current National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas poll.
Despite its sparkling record, first-place Shorecrest had previously struggled to achieve its goal of starting quickly, said Thompson: “This is one of the few times (this season) we’ve come out fast.”
Batt, a senior, displayed versatility by vacating his defensive slot to play a huge role in Shorecrest’s balanced offense, which featured five goals from five different players.
“When we get on teams early like that, it’s hard for them to come back,” said Batt. “I just try to get out of the (defensive backfield) and support up front and get as much pressure on them (as possible).”
Shorecrest led 5-0 by the fourth minute of the second half and seemed headed for its third straight shutout and eighth of the season. But with about two minutes to go Jeremy Wentzel scored off of a rebound with a hard blast that finally got Edmonds-Woodway (7-3-1) on the scoreboard.
E-W had won four straight games and came into the contest tied with Kamiak for second place in the division. But Warriors coach Tony Gilman said his team simply didn’t step up in a big-game environment.
Gilman praised the accurate ball movement of Shorecrest, which he believes will be a powerful force in the postseason. “They’ve got a good squad, a very good squad,” he said. “I’d be surprised if they didn’t go all the way to the finals in 3A.”
Shorecrest, which plays Jackson Thursday, won the 3A state championship in 2005.
Shorecrest completed a two-game regular season sweep of E-W. The Scots beat E-W 4-1 March 20. In that clash, Shorecrest also pulled away with a three-goal burst. It began one minute after E-W took a 1-0 lead.
Shorecrest’s quick-strike performance on Tuesday gave E-W’s Gilman an unpleasant flashback. “It’s the same thing they did to us last time. They got three goals really quickly,” said Gilman.
With five regular season games remaining, Shorecrest appears to be gearing up for another deep playoff run.
“This team’s really coming together,” Thompson said. “Hopefully we can go the long haul here.”
At Shoreline Stadium
Goals-Edmonds-Woodway: Wentzel. Shorecrest: Cho, Rudnick, Batt, Musar, Pace. Assists-Shorecrest: Ehrhart, Batt, Musar, Mason, Rudnick. Goalkeepers-Edmonds-Woodway: Michaels-Slettvet, Kratzke. Shorecrest: McDonald. Records-Edmonds-Woodway 7-3-1 in division and overall. Shorecrest 10-0-1, 10-0-1.