Crusaders in pursuit of playoffs

  • Charlie Laughtland<br>Enterprise writer
  • Thursday, February 28, 2008 10:21am

A lengthy midseason winning streak is helping Shoreline Christian stay in the running for second place in the Northwest A/B boys soccer standings.

Behind a pair of goals from Dilan Smead, the Crusaders blanked La Conner 4-0 Tuesday afternoon for their sixth straight win.

“We had a bit of a rough start, but we got things organized,” Crusaders coach John Dykstra said. “We just had to figure out who’s best where.”

With five games remaining, Shoreline Christian (5-3-0 league, 8-3-0 overall) is joining Friday Harbor and Mount Vernon Christian in a three-team tussle for second place.

Only the top two finishers in the large school division receive automatic Tri-district berths. The next three teams face the top small school finishers in the league playoffs.

After allowing 16 goals in a pair of lopsided losses to Archbishop Murphy and Friday Harbor at the start of the season, Shoreline Christian’s defense has yielded six goals.

During their win streak, the Crusaders have recorded four shutouts and have outscored their opposition 27-4.

“We’ve had some time to work on our team tactics,” Dykstra said. “We’re trying to become more of a passing team.”

Garth and Grant Brandal have led the scoring spree, combining for 16 goals over the past six games. For the season, Garth Brandal leads the Crusaders with 14 goals, four more than his brother.

Shoreline Christian closes out the small school portion of its schedule at Grace Academy this afternoon before four straight large school games to finish off the regular season.

Three of Shoreline Christian’s final four games are at home, starting with an Oct. 21 rematch with unbeaten Archbishop Murphy.

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