By Sam Paul-Barette, intern
Friday Harbor players and coaches were more than a little frustrated by a 3-0 loss to Grace Academy, Tuesday, Sept. 30, and with good reason.
It was the third loss of the season for the Wolverines and a game that would put the winner in the driver’s seat for one of the top spots in the hotly contested Northwest 2B League standings.
However, the Wolverines (6-3) bounced back with two straight home wins to regain momentum, beating Lopez 5-1 and Cedar Park Christian of Mountlake Terrace 7-0. Both games were opportunities to prepare for stronger squads that lie in wait, as well as to allow the team’s second-string some much-needed game time.
Against Lopez, Friday Harbor took an early lead with goals from Arno Issanjou and Michael Hoeller. Sam Paul-Barrette notched an assist and two goals within the final 10 minutes of the half, setting up Zach Porter’s first varsity strike, before knocking in two of his own. The Lobos were able to grab a consolation with a strong run from Cosmos Cordova deep in the second half.
The Cedar Park game took an unfamiliar turn for the Wolverines when the visiting Lions arrived with only nine players (of 11 required to play). Coach Andy Duke decided to match them and play with nine, meaning a last-minute change.
The Wolverines adjusted, scoring early and often. Issanjou netted a hat-trick, Hoeller added his third of the season and sophomores Joe Stewart and Javier Gomez were able to score their first varsity goals. The final goal came off a Cedar Park defender on a scramble in the box.
“Those two matches helped us get back to playing our game,” Hoeller said. “We had many great stretches of passing which was lacking from our game Tuesday (Grace Academy), which we need to have in our next game.”
The Wolverines sit in fourth place in league, which boasts four of the state’s Top 10 Division 2B teams, including No.8 ranked Friday Harbor.
Friday Harbor squares off against league-leading, undefeated and No. 4-ranked Mount Vernon Christian (8-0). Tuesday, at home; game time is 4:30 p.m. They face Shoreline Christian (1-7) on the road, Friday, Oct. 10, and are back home to host La Conner (3-5), Tuesday, Oct. 14, at 4:30 p.m.