Marysville-Pilchuck rallies

MARYSVILLE — Three times this season the Marysville-Pilchuck boys soccer team has trailed 1-0, and three times the Tomahawks have come back to win.

It’s a winning formula, in other words, but one Marysville-Pilchuck coach Geoff Kittle would still like to change.

“It would be nice not

to have that happen,” Kittle said with a wry smile, minutes after the Tomahawks rallied with two late goals for a 2-1 Western Conference North victory over rival Lake Stevens at Quil Ceda Stadium.

Down a goal midway through the second half, Marysville-Pilchuck knotted the score on a goal by senior midfielder Misael Valenzuela and then got the go-ahead goal nine minutes later from his brother, junior forward Jesus Valenzuela.

The outcome lifted the Tomahawks to a 3-0 season record, and a share of first place in the Wesco North with a 2-0 league mark.

“I’m really proud of (the Tomahawks),” Kittle said. “It was a really physical game and they had to have some composure to come back.

“This is the third game we’ve come back from being down one goal, but they’re a resilient team and I’m really proud of how they do that. Because (with the game on the line) they stepped up.”

“It seems like it takes a goal for us to get motivated and to get our rhythm,” Misael Valenzuela said. “But once (the other team) scores, everybody knows we have to play right.”

After a scoreless first half, Lake Stevens got on the scoreboard first with a beautiful goal from senior forward Nic Rowe. The play was set up by senior forward Josh Otusanya, who dribbled in from the left wing and delivered a perfectly placed crossing pass to Rowe, whose header eluded Tomahawks goalie Ian Beegle into the right corner of the net.

It took Marysville-Pilchuck 12 minutes to get the equalizer, and it came on a blistering shot off the right foot of Misael Valenzuela. He found himself open in front of the net, about 25 yards away, and his shot came in about the height of the crossbar. The Lake Stevens goalie leaped, but had the ball go off his hands and over his head before bouncing just in front of the goal line and then into the net.

“Misael had a look, and he stepped up, looked at the goal and just ripped it,” Kittle said. “And he ripped a nice shot.”

Minutes later, brother Jesus Valenzuela put the Tomahawks on top. His try from the right wing hooked away from the goalie and just inside the left post.

Lake Stevens battled gallantly until the end and had chances to tie the score, but could never find the net in the late minutes.

As with most games between Lake Stevens and Marysville-Pilchuck _ pick a sport, it rarely seems to matter _ this was a hard-fought, spirited clash.

“Every time (we play), it can go either way,” Kittle said. “If we played each other 10 times, they could win five and we could win five. But we lost to them three times last year, so this was a big one for our confidence. … It definitely feels good to get this one.”

Lake Stevens dropped to 1-1 in the conference, 1-2 overall. It is not the start the Vikings envisioned for a senior-laden team that reached the Class 4A state championship game a year ago.

“I’m not happy with the outcome,” said Lake Stevens coach Scott Flanders. “I thought they finished their chances and we didn’t, and that was the difference in the game.

“We know at some point in the season there’s going to be some adversity,” he added. “So we hope our adversity is right now. And if this is our adversity for the year, we’re getting it out of the way early.”

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