Varsity 2019

Varsity Stangs make a strong statement in the opening round of the playoffs and dominate Lake Stevens 5-0!

The Mustangs were coming off of two tough losses to close the regular season and looked to rebound and regain their mojo to start their playoff run.  The Lake Stevens squad and supporters traveled long and far to the RHS pitch to take part in this loser-go-home match.  Which squad was better prepared?  Who wanted it more?

 

Redmond had no trouble in the early stanza of the match tracking down loose balls, and even when the passes weren’t crisp, the effort and tenacity was locked and loaded.  Dadzie started this match eager to please and was caught offsides before the linesman had a chance to unfurl his flag.  Patience, young grasshopper.  Stein gave the shiver to a few Lake Stevens midfielders which left them second guessing for the remainder of the contest.  There were some really nice possession sequences in the midfield between Michalski, Dadzie, and Kieneker, and all enjoyed the display of skill and teamwork.  Sometimes it is just good old fashioned fun to watch these guys play (even without popcorn in the mix)!

 

After a brief feeling-out period, Hernandez received the ball and applied one of his trademark rumblin’, bumblin’, whirling dervish’n runs down the left wing and crossed to Rabadan who connected and chipped the ball into the upper net at point blank range.  1-0 Stangs!

 

On the defensive side of the ball, Diaz has had a great run this season of frustrating opposing offenses with his skillful and physical play. The Lake Stevens wingers would often feel the brunt of this physicality and would bounce off of him like they had just run into an immovable object.  What was that, a fly?  Keeper Escalante appreciated the hard work from the RHS defensive front and looked to earn another elusive clean sheet for the Redmond fans.

 

A few minutes before half time, Dadzie made several Vikings defenders look helpless as he powered into the box pouncing on a loose ball and drove it home.  2-0 Stangs!  At this point, the unfairness of the universe was beginning to affect the Lake Stevens faithful, leading to loud huffy complaints and gnashing of teeth from their fans.  “The lady doth protest too much”, you could hear the birdies singing from the trees.

 

A few minutes after the opening whistle of the second half, Dadzie was up to his usual playful shenanigans and juked the keeper on a 1:1 and tapped it home for a 3-0 Stangs lead.  Before the ball had a chance to cool off, Hernandez got the ball and weaved and slalomed around three Vikings defenders before a low strike found nothing but twine and the back of the goal for a 4-0 Stangs lead!

 

Halfway through the second half, Dadzie completed the hat trick by pouncing on some space in the box after fielding a delicate pass from Rabadan.  5-0 Stangs!  The remainder of the match was more or less a formality, with the finality and inevitability of the moment sinking in on the Lake Stevens players and supporters.  Hats off to your Varsity Stangs for a great scoring display and the clean sheet!

 

These boys needed this result!  Onward and upward, Go Stangs!!

 

Goals:  11’ (Rabadan, assist Hernandez), 25’ (Dadzie), 45’(Dadzie), 49’ (Hernandez), 59’ (Dadzie, assist Rabadan)

Varsity 2019

Issaquah prove clinical in the red zone and upend the Varsity Stangs 3-1

This contest had the makings of a prize fight – two accomplished squads with no love for each other vying for the top of the league table, both hoping to assert with a dominant performance.  The stadium was buzzing, and the Issaquah Eagles had a boisterous contingent of vocal fans present for their senior night celebrations.  Redmond represented well too, with numerous superfans making their presence felt on the visitor’s side of the pitch.  Out of the gate, Issaquah seemed content to let the Stangs maintain possession of the ball, but incorporated a high press to pounce on any loose passes in the Redmond defensive half.

 

Redmond was able to make some defensive statements early, with a number of nice hard-nosed tackles from Diaz, whose strong physical play visibly frustrated the Issaquah wingers on his side of the action.  Also impressive was the hustle of Kieneker, working hard on the tackle in the offensive half and then scrambling back hard to cover on D.  Offensively, the Stangs were able to get a few dangerous balls into the Issaquah box, but couldn’t find the back of the net.  Redmond was also able to conjure up multiple corners in the early minutes but was not able to convert on those precious chances.  Issaquah was exceedingly crafty in the air and had multiple aerial near-goals headers in the early going, one of which was called back because of off sides.  The relentless aerial assault from Issaquah eventually took its toll, and half way through the opening 40, the Eagles crashed the box one too many times and scored off a header to put the Stangs down 1-10.

 

To Redmond’s credit, the Stangs came out of the restart with renewed fire.  Dadzie was able to pounce on a loose ball deep along the attacking right wing and crossed a ball which caromed off an Issaquah defender to a ready Stein for the left foot strike through traffic into the back of the net.  1-1!  At the tail end of the half, a lone Issaquah defender was able to shut down a dangerous Stein/Hernandez/Price RHS counter attack with a timely defensive tackle and was able to avert a sure Redmond chance.

 

Coming out of half time, Issaquah seemed a touch faster to the ball and picked up their possession game.  Redmond was trying to ask questions of the Issaquah D.  At one point early in the second stanza, Redmond had four players in the Issaquah box to field a Dadzie cross but weren’t able to find the daylight to drive it home.  On the Redmond defensive front, Bury, Wiyrick, and Fahrig were making their presence known in the air.  Fahrig in particular was taking the brunt of some Issaquah physicality in this match and paid a steep price on a few occasions.

 

Issaquah kept pushing hard for the go-ahead goal and wouldn’t take no for an answer.  Keeper Escalante had a wonderful point-blank save after an Issaquah cross connected with an unmarked forward deep in the box for a quick strike.  What quick reactions by Escalante!  Unfortunately, a minute later the ball was still in the Redmond defensive third and an Issaquah forward gave up the body in the box with a stretching/sliding goal which eluded all of the back line.  2-1, Issaquah.  A few minutes later, the Stangs earned a corner which was cleared to safety and directly into a surging Issaquah counter attack, which was deadly even though under-manned and proved clinical with a red zone cross and finish.  3-1 Issaquah.

 

In the waning minutes of the match, Issaquah battened down the hatches on defense and played the clock game.  This match was definitely a case of a supremely motivated Issaquah squad who did not want to disappoint on their senior night and made the most of their chances.

 

Goal: 34’ (Stein)

Varsity 2019

Varsity Stangs drop a tight one in overtime against Eastlake 2-3, but look forward with eager eyes to the playoffs

For the nine graduating seniors on the squad, the pre-match RHS Senior Night festivities marked the culmination of four years of hard work and a chance to reflect on their time spent at the home of the Mustangs.  What a treat it was to be able to celebrate these Redmond seniors along with the rest of the proud RHS Soccer family!  The packed house was raucous and ready for some mid-week soccer action under the Tuesday night lights.  Both teams had a chance to earn the coveted second seed in the Districts playoffs with a win, so this was sure to be a hotly contested affair!

 

The beginning of the match showcased some nice pep from the RHS players, with great movement off the ball.  Stein took an early jaunty crack from outside the box and although the shot on goal was saved with a desperate dive from the Eastlake keeper,  the strike put a bit of concern in the brow of the Eastlake faithful.  The Stangs defense was also clicking well in the early going, with all contributing to the cause.  Bury “The air is great up here”  impressed with his aerial assault, helped control possession for RHS, and cleared multiple balls safely out of harm’s way.  It has been fun to watch him work his smart play this season.  The Beast Wiyrick made his presence known with a “My shoulder is bigger than your shoulder” defensive manhandling of the Eastlake forwards.  The illustrious Mr. Tibbs took his trademark scrambling to another level and had everyone on the RHS side of the pitch chanting to the opposing stands “We can’t see you scampering!  We can’t see you scampering!”

 

For the first fifteen minutes of the contest RHS was in solid control, maintaining possession and running Eastlake ragged around the pitch.  Even the miscue passes would somehow find their way back into RHS possession.  Kieneker’s command of the midfield was impressive and he always seemed to find a weaving path to elude the Eastlake contingent.  Stein had a couple of nice additional chances in the first half, both of which ended up just wide of the promised land.  A short while later, Stein crossed a nice ball which found the noggin of Dadzie but glanced a bit high of the mark.  Eastlake was also able to make some first half noise when a through ball which was pounced on by keeper Escalante squirted out of his grasp for a point-blank opportunity for the Wolves.  To everyone’s amazement, the Eastlake strike somehow flew wide and RHS miraculously escaped a first-half goal deficit.  To follow that up, another Eastlake offensive push just before the end of the half had a chance when another through ball penetrated the RHS box and the strike caromed off the post and wide.

 

Coming out of half time, RHS provided consistent pressure on the ball.  Some nice smothering D by Gordon on the wing and physical presence in the middle by Michalski resulted in a stretch of good possession for Redmond.  Eastlake was able to ask some questions with a very dangerous run down the wing, but the cross didn’t find the mark.  Another dangerous run was snuffed out by Michalski running down and sticking like glue to the Eastlake attacker.   After a number of back and forth exchanges and close calls to break the scoreless tie, Stein lobbed a ball skyward to a waiting Price on the wing who promptly spun around his defender and found daylight for a cross directly to a salivating Stein for the opening goal, 1-0 Stangs!

 

Eastlake kept searching doggedly for the equalizer.  With impressive long distance throws from the touchline, most every Wolves toss seemed like a corner kick.  With just a couple of minutes left in full time, Eastlake was able to convert on a winger’s cross into the box for the equalizer, 1-1.  Before Redmond had a chance to digest what had just happened, the Wolves capitalized on the momentum switch and struck again with a cross and header goal, 1-2 Eastlake.  In stoppage time, Redmond was pulling out all of the stops and were the recipients of a timely Eastlake handball in the box for a PK, which Stein promptly and expertly converted for the equalizer, 2-2!

 

In the first stanza of overtime, Eastlake was able to cash in on a long ball strike, catching keeper Escalante a bit too far outside to cover the ball.  2-3 Eastlake.  This result would hold as the last ditch RHS long ball attempts and Eastlake time wasting would take the remainder of the second stanza.  While the end result on this evening wasn’t what the Redmond fans were hoping for, the grit and fire shown throughout the match by the Stangs embodied the spirit of competition that all should aspire to.  Next stop, the playoffs!

 

Go Stangs!!

 

Goals:  58’ (Stein, assist Price), 80’ (Stein, PK)

Varsity 2019

Varsity Stangs gallop untethered around the pitch and take down the Overlake School Owls 3-0!

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)

Varsity 2019

Newport surprises with moon ball equalizer in the first half, but RHS races back and takes care of home field with a 2-1 win!

On a cool and moist April night, the only things keeping the fans warm were the promise of hotly contested soccer action and the possibility of popcorn after the match.  Redmond started this romp a touch hyped up with errant passes and turnovers being offered aplenty.  It was clearly a struggle to string passes together in the initial minutes.  Players, coaches and fans alike were all in agreement – the boys just needed to settle down a bit.  In the early going, the illustrious Mr. Tibbs did a great job shutting down some dangerous stuff on the wings against imposing Newport attackers.  Newport wasn’t shy of the physical stuff though and took advantage of the ref’s seeming unwillingness to hand out cards during this match.

 

Once the Stangs took it down a notch, the offensive opportunities started clicking.  A Michalski to Rabadan to Stein connection was just over the crossbar for a corner and had Newport shaking in their boots.  A few minutes later, a loose ball found its way to super scamperer Kieneker, who crossed a beautiful negative lob into the box for a pinpoint Dadzie header goal!  With RHS riding the momentum wave, a few other through ball opportunities appeared in quick succession with corners and crosses galore.

 

Not to be outdone, Newport started asserting themselves as the half wore to a close and had some offensive chances of their own.  In one instance, it took a crafty split-second Escalante save to keep a close range Newport strike from finding the promised land.  To make things really interesting, Newport was able to capitalize on charging keeper Escalante straying a bit too far outside and lobbed a moon ball over everyone and everything (except for the goal) for the equalizer.

 

With the score knotted at 1-1, the second half was sure to tickle everyone’s fancy.  Are you not entertained?

After a few matches out of action, it was nice to see Wiyrick back on the pitch, crushing long balls and bruising the earth (and the competition).  It was also great to see Tiglon make an appearance for the first time this season after a long injury layoff.

 

A few minutes into the half, Dadzie found himself scurrying along with the ball in the attacking half, marked by two Newport defenders.  He took the opportunity to split the defenders with a strike, befuddling the Newport keeper in the process, and leaving all RHS fans dancing a jig in delirium.  Newport took this opportunity to pick up the physicality and attack with increased gusto.  As part of this Newport surge, a scary ball rattled around in the RHS box before Kieneker gave up the body to clear the ball away from danger.  Later in the half, the Newport physicality took RHS keeper Rash to the ground with a clear unsporting mugging, which had Redmond fans shouting their displeasure.

 

In the waning moments of the match, a wonderful long range Kieneker free kick showed real promise and just missed Dadzie in the box for a sure goal.  As a last gasp, the Dadzie hat trick looked destined to materialize with a Hernandez to Price to Dadzie setup that was miraculously saved by the Newport keeper at close range.  Despite the near miss, this was the last play of the game, and the Stangs emerged victorious!

 

Goals: 21’ (Dadzie, assist Kieneker), 51’ (Dadzie)

Varsity 2019

Skyline strikes first but your Varsity Stangs keep the bit between their teeth and earn the 1-1 draw!

Everyone and their grandmother had this match circled on the calendar – the KingCo 4A leading 8-1 Redmond Mustangs against perennial powerhouse Skyline, who were riding a five game winning streak.

 

Right off of the opening whistle, Skyline applied pressure against the RHS back line, resulting in a few early errant passes but Redmond was able to ride the swell and eventually settle down.  The intensity was on full display, and it was fun to watch Diaz wrestle the ball away from the Skyline coach for a throw in.  The Stangs also showed some early offensive promise and were able to get in a few Stein to Dadzie connections.  Unfortunately, the early promise didn’t produce immediate dividends for the Stangs, and they found themselves playing catch-up after a Spartan corner in the sixth minute went un-cleared and hit the back of the near-post net for the 0-1 Skyline lead.

 

The RHS defense was working overtime to ensure that the one goal deficit did not grow larger.  A scary Skyline corner bounced around in the RHS box for a spell and was flicked by keeper Escalante’s outstretched hand to the trusty foot of Bury for the clearance.  As the match progressed, Skyline leveraged the long throw to put balls dangerously deep into the box from the touch line, and Escalante and Co. were repeating the “bend but don’t break” mantra to themselves.

 

Redmond countered and found some good looks themselves, with a Stein pass searching for an unmarked streaking Rabadan on the wing, only to be frantically smothered by the Spartan keeper at the top of the box.  After a few minutes another chance emerged, with Henandez delivering a wonderful cross to a very dangerous place but alas no Stangs were reared to tap it in.  Redmond was also bitten by the offside bug a few times in this match which negated sure offensive chances from Stein and Dadzie runs.  As the half wound down, a Michalski feed to a sprinting Price down the left wing raised some hopes and resulted in a shot on goal, which was saved and swatted out by the Skyline keeper for an RHS corner.

 

The Stangs came out for the second half with renewed determination and grit.  The excitement and anticipation levels were palpable.  Redmond quickly found themselves with possibilities, Michalski and Dadzie leading the charge deep downfield for a cross just past the outstretched foot of Stein.  On the defensive side of the ball, freshman Hammond played with good awareness and stifled some Spartan attacks which were sure to otherwise materialize.

 

The intensity levels escalated as the match wore on, and Redmond fans were wondering if the Stangs would be rewarded for their persistent scurrying and hard-nosed scampering.  And then it happened – with three minutes left in regulation, Dadzie picked up a free ball and casually offered a side-foot flick from midfield to a charging Stein who broke free of two defenders and befuddled the Skyline keeper with a near post strike.  1-1!

 

Overtime saw Redmond riding the momentum wave and with the Spartans on their heels, the Stangs provided virtually all of the offensive chances.  A Diaz cross to a Dadzie header had some promise, but was nabbed high in the air by the Skyline keeper.  A couple of minutes later, a Stein corner to a Dadzie one-touch strike looked like it had a chance, but alas, no dice.  Great fight, Stangs!

 

 

Goals:  78’ (Stein, assist Dadzie)

Varsity 2019

Varsity Stangs stay strong and finish the job 1-0 against Curtis!

Friday Night Lights?  Check!

Two ball boys?  Check!

Bag of Polly popcorn?  Check!

Flair for the creative?  Check!

Stangs victory?  Wait for it…

 

In another RHS match with a lineup shuffle due to missing personnel, the Stangs would be called on to find ways to produce results in somewhat unfamiliar ways.

 

Redmond came out a tad slow in the opening half, with multiple early loose balls gained and controlled by Curtis.  The Stangs were able to win some valuable corners with the always-pesky Rabadan asking some questions of the Curtis back line down the right hand touch line.  Eager to get in on the action, Hernandez applied some trademark body language to select Curtis players which left everyone in the stands singing “Kumbaya”, and “Give Peace a Chance”.  The illustrious Mr. Tibbs demonstrated some razzle dazzle and routinely conjured something out of nothing, leaving the Curtis wingers scratching their heads and wondering what had just happened.

 

A sequence of Curtis free kicks from midfield caused some furrowed brows when the ball caromed around in the Redmond box for a tad too long.  A short while later, RHS keeper Escalante had to go into “turbo scamper” mode when a ball squirted past the RHS back line and not one but two Curtis hot potato goal attempts were quashed in rapid succession by the expert exploits of Tricky Ricky.  The Stangs came up with some chances of their own, and a Price headed pass to a streaking Stein down the left wing led to Stein subsequently performing a nutmeg and a choice cross which barely missed the mark.  A late half Curtis free kick in the attacking third was cause for concern and made RHS fans second-guess the peperoni pizza they had for dinner, but the attempt sailed happily over the goal.  On the next RHS possession, Stein again evaded Curtis defenders and launched a quality ball to a ready Doyle who made good contact with a header which unfortunately found the arms of the Curtis keeper.

 

Coming out of half, RHS fans were optimistic of the Stangs’ prospects, and the Stangs themselves seemed ready to get something done.  RHS pushed hard right out off the whistle and worked the ball deep via the left wing, and Stein took a few moments to get up close and personal with the Curtis keeper.  Minutes later, RHS knocked again with several consecutive corners, the second of which took a miraculous save to prevent a Stein to Gordon goal connection.  It was impressive to see how quickly Gordon then got back on D and shut down a menacing Curtis counter attack.  At this point, Redmond was primed and ready to get on the scoreboard, and after a somewhat random and lengthy journey with the ball in the corner, the Price was right with a pass to an unmarked Stein for the precision near post put away.  Zap!

 

And Redmond wasn’t done there with the offensive pressure – playing higher up on the wing, the illustrious Mr. Tibbs again got sneaky and sped past the Curtis line to strike one off the keeper for a corner.  Sweet offensive chin music!  On the other side of the ball, Bomben played some solid D, gave up the body multiple times, and threw in a few of his patented slide tackles to avert sure disaster.  As the final grains of sand dropped through the hourglass, a spirited Kieneker run up the right flank ended with a cross to a Hernandez strike which sailed just high…but not to worry…

 

…Let’s try it again:

 

Stangs victory?  Check!!

 

Goals:  50’ (Stein, assist Price)