by Kyler Parris
BOTHELL, Wash. — The Bothell Cougars defeated the Cascade Bruins 4-0 today at Pop Keeney Stadium as part of the KingCo/ WesCo Showcase. The match was dominated by Bothell, but weak finishing and fantastic reflex goalkeeping kept the speedy Cougars’ score line reasonable.
Bothell came out of the gates running. In the first offensive possession of the match, a quick attack down the left began the movement. The winger sent a dangerous ball across the six. With the defense beat striker Ty Fleming sent the shot just wide.
Soon after, a similar play developed. A dribble down the wing ended with a cross straight through the box. On the other side, Rigoberto “Junior” Loreto opened up his body and missed wide, aiming for the difficult far post shot. Still 0-0.
In the 10th minute, a nice dribble by exchange student Kazuki Magome and snap shot was beautiful, but hit off the post. The first 10 minutes have been all Bothell. Still 0-0, but tension is building.
With 26 minutes left, a quick shot by Loreto forced a reflex save by Cascade goalkeeper Joey Birnbaum. The ball went out for a corner which led to an even higher level of sustained pressure on the Cascade defense. Shot after shot, the Bruins were hanging on by a thread—and the Cougars were on the prowl.
Finally, the shots started going in. With 19 minutes left in the half, a through ball by Magome to an onside Fleming resulted in a one-on-one between a talented ‘keeper and a speedy, technical striker. Even though Birnbaum got a foot to the shot (which happened many more times in the second half), Fleming’s low shot still rolled in. 1-0 Bothell leads.
Just three minutes later, a long, fantastic run by Bothell’s Hunter Ford turned into a weighty attack. Ford looped his run, skillfully tip-toeing along the goal line. He then cut back the cross, giving Magome an easy one-touch scoring opportunity, which Magome coolly converts far post. 2-0 Bothell leads.
Bothell showed more of the same in the second half.
Johan Muliadi of Bothell gained possession outside the penalty box. Muliadi, constantly looking for a chance, ends up nearly tracing the penalty box’s lines. Finally, he lofts a hopeful, lofted ball back post. Magome comes out of nowhere and heads the ball into the postage stamp top left corner. 3-0 Bothell.
19 minutes into the second half, Bothell scores their fourth and final goal. A through ball to Kyle Lewis (who was clearly offside from my angle) ended with a toe poke past Birnbaum into the back of the net. 4-0 Bothell leads.
In the closing stages, the game became slightly more even in terms of game play. The Cougars’ shots were less dangerous, and those on target were safely disposed of by ‘keeper Birnbaum.
The full time whistle is blown; Bothell wins it 4-0.
“Overall, I thought we played hard, but didn’t finish and execute the way we normally do.” Says Bothell Head Coach Kenny Mueller. “This Bothell squad is simply a great group of guys. What was a young team has matured and is gelling well. They are an incredibly technical team and today was about playing players everywhere and looking to see where people fit best in our tactical scheme.”
“Defense was solid, like our last game against Sammamish we didn’t give up much. I felt we dominated possession throughout the match especially in the midfield. Up front, every forward was dangerous and found opportunities. The only thing I felt we could have improved on was our finishing and though I feel it was an off day, that will be the focus for training next week.”
“Their camaraderie, work ethic, and passion for the game push each other to become better players. As a coach it really is a treasure to coach this group and watch them play the world’s greatest game the way they do.”
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