Lake Stevens shuts out Tomahawks, 1-0

LAKE STEVENS – Not the rain or cold could stop the Lake Stevens boys soccer team from starting the season with three straight wins.

The Vikings defeated Marysville-Pilchuck 1-0 Thursday night in a Wesco North game played on a rain-soaked Lake Stevens High School soccer field.

Evan Steinruck’s goal 57 minutes into the contest provided the only offense the Vikings would need as Lake Stevens remained unbeaten in the early season.

The senior forward caught a pass off his chest, dropped the ball onto his foot and connected on a rocket shot from 30 yards out that sailed straight into the goal for a 1-0 Lake Stevens lead.

“I thought Evan’s shot was an absolute ripper,” Lake Stevens head coach Scott Flanders said.

“We were trying to give it to him on top. He’s been doing that in practice and (tonight) he finally got one,” Flanders added.

Led by the 6-foot-4 Steinruck, the Vikings used their height to their advantage winning most of the balls in the air.

“They are big and tall and they won a lot of the air balls,” Tomahawks coach Kyle Suits said.

Marysville-Pilchuck fell two inches short of tying the score in the 77th minute when Nickolas Burdett’s shot ricocheted off the left post and away from the goal.

“Two evenly matched teams, a one goal game, it could’ve gone either way,” Suits said.

Suits was happy with the way his team responded after the Vikings took the 1-0 lead.

“I like the fact that we didn’t roll over right away and quit. For our first time (against Lake Stevens) we played well,” Suits said.

For the third straight game it was the Lake Stevens’ defense that proved to be the difference in the game. The Vikings recorded their second straight shutout and out shot the Tomahawks 15-6 in the game.

Sophomore goalkeeper Kurt Holt recorded his second shutout of the season for the Vikings.

“We’re sort of a young team, and our defense is our oldest part and (it’s) pretty battle-tested,” Flanders said.

Tomahawks goalkeeper Kaleb Kuehn had seven saves.

Unlike most of the other spring sports, soccer plays through anything, and both coaches agreed that playing in the constant rain on a field that had been drenched with water throughout the day had no effect on the outcome.

“We live in Washington we expect it, weather’s not a factor,” Suits concurred.

“Its spring sports you just expect it,” Flanders said, though he conceded the soaked field made the game a little quicker than the Vikings had wanted it to be.

“We’re not as fast as we’ve been in the past. This pace was a little quick for us,” Flanders said.

The Vikings and Tomahawks last met in a 4A District 1 winner-to-state, loser-out game last spring.

Lake Stevens won that game and ended up finishing fourth in state.

This season, with both teams expecting to again compete for a district playoff berth, it was the Vikings who got the jumpstart.

At Lake Stevens H.S.

Goals-Lake Stevens: Steinruck. Goalkeepers-Marysville-Pilchuck: Kuehn. Lake Stevens: Holt. Records-Marysville-Pilchuck: 2-2-0 in league and overall. Lake Stevens 3-0-0.

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