On a pleasant and dry Saturday in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, the stands were packed and everyone was soaking in the pastoral setting surrounding the Overlake School’s soccer pitch. The song birds were in abundance as were dreams of popcorn. It was wonderful to see such a large contingent of RHS soccer players and students tuning in to witness another chapter in this cross town rivalry. On top of it all, the capable announcer hypnotized all in attendance with his smooth and soothing baritone over the PA. Who-who-who was that guy? “The Voice of the Owls”, that’s who! Time for some slicin’ and dicin’!
Right off the bat, the Stangs were pushing forward and demonstrating happy feet. Stein had a bee in his bonnet and wasted no time getting RHS on the board after receiving a through ball from Price into the box. After a Stein stutter-step, clicking of heels, juke, and moonwalk, the Stangs were up early, 1-0! This seemed to wake the Owls up, and Gordon needed to show some good moxie and resolve to clear a dangerous ball after a driving Overlake had the RHS defense on their heels. Not to be outdone by the work rate of the defense, Dadzie pushed hard into the attacking half to drive a dangerous cross in for a Rabadan almost-goal. Not more than a minute later, Rabadan returned the favor and finished a trademark run down the right flank with a pass to a waiting and chomping-at-the-bit Dadzie, whose strike went just over the crossbar.
The Owls had a few close chances of their own in the first half, with Overlake able to penetrate the Redmond defenses on the wings. The Stangs averted sure disaster with some heads-up “wall defense” by the back line in the box, and some quick reactions by keeper Escalante. Eager to make a mark, Wiyrick unleashed one of his trademark Hulk Smash clearances that left everyone sorry for the ball. Other examples of great physicality were the aerial heroics by Fahrig, and some hard-nosed shoulder-to-shoulder defending by Doyle. After tirelessly working hard in the midfield with great field awareness, Tiglon took an opportunity to push forward and was rewarded by being assaulted in the box for a PK. Deliver he did, and this led to a 2-0 Stangs lead!
Coming out of the half, keeper Condon had his mettle tested almost immediately with a shot on goal which he safely gathered. Coming back down the other side, an offensive sequence ended with Dadzie being tripped and a free kick awarded juuuuuuust outside the box. Did I mention it was juuuuust outside the box? This foul led to a lovely Dadzie free kick strike which was batted out by the Owls keeper for an RHS corner. Those RHS boys kept knocking! Super scamperers Kieneker and the illustrious Mr. Tibbs worked hard to keep position and possession in the Stangs’ favor. After a few offensive attempts were snuffed out , Price delivered a ball from midfield to a lonely but surging Hernandez on the wing who struck a clean winner for a 3-0 Stangs lead! The lead held for the final waning minutes of the match, as the Stangs finished strong, snuffing out any hope that was left in Overlake Owls.
These boys have been impressive all season, and it will be a pleasure to watch where it takes them. Go Stangs!
Goals: 4’ (Stein, assist Price), 37’ (Tiglon, PK), 64’ (Hernandez, assist Price)