EVERETT — For all the skill Glacier Peak forward Danny Guerrero owns, he willfully admitted a little luck helped his Grizzlies earn an impressive road win over Mariner.
Guerrero stepped up to take a free kick just outside the Marauders’ 18-yard box with the score even and just over 20 minutes to play. His shot wrapped around the Mariner wall of defenders moving right to left before deflecting off the far-right post and away from the goal for only a fraction of a second until it hit the back of Mariner goalkeeper Brihan Castaneda, who was diving to stop the shot. The ball then ricocheted back toward the goal and just trickled across the goal line, giving the Grizzlies what proved to be the game-winner.
“I think about (taking the free kick) in my head,” Guerrero said, “but then the rest of it is just luck, honestly. I just hope it goes in.”
Luck or not, Glacier Peak rallied from an early deficit and Guerrero played a hand in both of the Grizzlies’ goals to help his club earn a key 2-1 Wesco 4A early-season road win against the Marauders on Friday night at Goddard Stadium.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” said Glacier Peak coach Kyle Veach of the win. “I think it comes down to they have a great desire to win, but our (shots) just went into the back of the net.”
Early on Mariner (4-2-0, 2-2-0 Wesco 4A) created far more scoring opportunities, flashing its talent with tremendous individual efforts from the likes of forward Bakary Dibba and midfielder Agustin Domingo.
In fact, it was a showcase of outstanding skill from Dibba that helped the Marauders take a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute.
With two defenders leaving him minimal space to work trapped against the left sideline, the senior forward beat both and got the better of a third Glacier Peak defender. The sweet moves elicited gasps from the home crowd, and Dibba created enough open space to send a cross into teammate Efren Martinez, who placed the ball over the head of Glacier Peak goalkeeper Marco Guerrero from close range.
But Glacier Peak (4-2-0, 3-1-0) held on and scored a critical goal just before half.
Danny Guerrero played in a long lead pass to Keegan Rubio, who slipped behind the Mariner defense and finished with a strong shot from 20 yards out that found the back of the net.
“We literally were just practicing this yesterday. We were practicing case scenarios if we were 3-1 down, 2-1 down,” Danny Guerrero said. “I guess it helped. We all focused hard and practiced to win.”
Veach said his defense didn’t make any halftime adjustments, but the Grizzlies backline contained Mariner’s attack much better in the final 40 minutes than it did during the first half, as the Marauders never truly threatened.
All Glacier Peak needed was one break, and it got it in the 58th minute when Mariner was called for a hand ball, which set up Danny Guerrero’s free kick finish.
“Danny is lethal,” Veach said. “He should be one of the top goal scorers in the league every year. He’s one of our top free kick takers, and he showed why tonight.”