The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
LACEY, Wash – Evergreen’s first playoff match since 2005 was against a familiar foe, the Warner Pacific Knights. In two matches already this year, Evergreen had won both, scored four in the process and only allowed one.
But this the playoffs and a fresh start for both sides.
In the opening minutes it was hard to separate both the Geoducks and Knights. They struggled to connect passes that would create any serious attacking moves. Most of the attacks ran out of gas, as any misplayed pass would be cleared away.
With both sides failing to find any rhythm to their play it looked like it would remain scoreless, then came the 24 minute.
Some beautiful combination play ended with #12 Kevin Flavin playing in a cross that found the soaring head of #20 Willie Spurr. Spurr headed the ball which then bounced off the cross bar and into the back of the net. 1:0 Evergreen. Against a run of inconsistent play, Evergreen created a moment of quality and it paid off.
Like Evergreen’s goal, out of nowhere disaster struck for Evergreen. Evergreen’s goalkeeper #00 Maurico Sanchez, who tried to dribble around the Knight’s #18 Alberto Casas, lost possession creating an opening in Evergreen’s goal. Casas pounced on Sanchez’s mental break down and swung ball into the path of #3 Jameson Jones who rocketed it past Sanchez. Just like that, Evergreen’s lead was erased.
With score locked up at one, it was hard to say who had an advantage going into halftime. Both the teams created a few goal scoring chances but were unable to punish any further slip-ups.
As play resumed after the break, the Knights pushed the Geoducks into defending three corners in a row. Evergreen’s defense did not buckle but it can came close as a few shots just missed. Evergreen fans held their breath.
After this seemingly never-ending pressure, Evergreen started to give the Knights a taste of their own medicine.
With both sides trading blows, it created a very open match. It was only a matter of time before someone would score.
In the 60th minute the break-through came. Willie Spurr lobbed a ball over the Knights’ back line and onto the path of the onrushing Kevin Flavin who showed great strength to fend off a Knights’ defender and with great technical skill dribbled around the Knight’s goalkeeper #31 Drew Bonifacio. With an open net in front of him Flavin wasted no time in restoring the Geoducks lead.
Six minutes later, Evergreen doubled their lead. Following a turnover in the center of the pitch. # 10 Jack Fortune quickly played in Flavin who crossed it towards a waiting Willie Spurr who at first misplayed the cross. His recovery saw him dribble around the Knights’ goalkeeper and a defender and finish it off by firing into an open net.
If the second goal had not taken the wind of the Knights’ sails, the third did. Evergreen was content to sit back and hold the ball to kill off the match.
The Knights applied more pressure to get back into the match but were dangerously exposed to the counter attack. And ten minutes from time, Evergreen countered.
A ball fell awkwardly between Bonificao and his fellow Warner Pacific defender. A lapse in communication saw them collide and #3 (senior) Klye Wiese was in the right place at the right time. He made W-P pay dearly for their late mistake.
When the final buzzer buzzed, there was jubilation for Evergreen players who had shown first-class composure to brush off a their first half mistakes and play excellent counter-attacking soccer. They were just too hot for the Knights to contain.
Evergreen now advances to the 2012 Cascade Conference Men’s Soccer Championship Match on Saturday evening against Concordia (Portland.) Kick off with the Cavs is set for 6 p.m. at Tuominen Yard in Portland, Ore.
Men of the Match:
Evergreen, Ben Joselyn: Just a rock as center back
Evergreen, Willie Spurr: Toyed with the Knights defenders and his two goals were solid finishes
Warner Pacific (9-9-1) vs. Evergreen (13-5-0) Date: 11/06/12 Attendance: 176 Weather: 55F, Light Rain, SSW at 10 mph Goals by period 1 2 Tot ------------------------------- Warner Pacific...... 1 0 - 1 Evergreen........... 1 3 - 4 SCORING SUMMARY: 1. 23:15 ESC SPURR, Willie (FLAVIN, Kevin) - Headed off bottom of crossbar and in 2. 29:19 WPC JONES, Jameson (CASAS, Alberto) - Gathered Save, Finished Open Net 3. 59:09 ESC FLAVIN, Kevin (unassisted) - Dribbled Around Defender, Keeper, Finished Point Blank 4. 66:13 ESC SPURR, Willie (unassisted) - Dribbled around keeper, finished through five hole 5. 79:18 ESC WIESE, Kyle (unassisted) - Gathered Ball after collision between GK and D, Shot from 20yds out Shots: Warner Pacific 11, Evergreen 13 Saves: Warner Pacific 4 (BONIFACIO, Drew 4), Evergreen 7 (SANCHEZ, Mauricio 5; TEAM 2)