Glacier Peak moves into first place with decisive triumph | Boys soccer

Three Grizzlies score goals in key win over Knights
By David Pan | Apr 20, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Glacier Peak’s Keegan Rubio heads the ball while Kamiak’s Kaydin Wall watches Monday, April 9, at Glacier Peak High School.

Glacier Peak moved into contention for the league title with a vital victory over Kamiak.

Three different Grizzlies scored goals in a 3-1 victory over the Knights in a Wesco 4A boys soccer game Monday, April 9, at Glacier Peak High School.

A 2-1 victory over Lake Stevens on Friday, April 13 and a 2-1 loss to Mount Vernon on Tuesday, April 17, left Glacier Peak tied for first place in the league standings with Kamiak and Mount Vernon. All three teams have 6-2-1 league records. The Vikings (6-3-0) are in fourth place.

“It’s a big win,” Glacier Peak coach Teddy Mitalas said after the Kamiak contest. “We were bunched up in first place. ... It’s going to be a tough road the second half of the season.There’re four of us that are just knocking each other off. I felt that this was probably our best game of the year so far.

“We moved the ball. We switched the ball. We attacked. We didn’t just try to play slow soccer today. We finally had everybody here. That made it another good thing.”

The two teams appeared headed for a scoreless first half when Glacier Peak senior Keegan Rubio scored in the 39th minute.

Mitalas was glad to go into halftime with a lead.

“It was nice to break the ice,” Mitalas said. “I just thought we had opportunities. We just couldn’t put them away early in the game.”

Kamiak coach Kosta Pitharoulis was pleased with his team’s performance in the first half aside from what he saw as a late defensive breakdown.

“I thought we controlled the ball pretty well,” Pitharoulis said. “I thought we were able to defend soundly when it came to GP’s attack. We just kind of lost our focus there for the last 30 seconds or so.”

The Grizzlies took a 2-0 lead in the 53rd minute when a corner kick ended up not being cleared in front of the goal and senior Brandon Seed found the back of the net.

Mitalas noted that he always likes to have a player in the scramble area.

“Brandon stayed in there,” the Glacier Peak coach said. “It was bouncing all around. He kicked it in. I’ll take it. I don’t care how they go in.”

“The clear kind of went back to the middle, so that was unfortunate,” Pitharoulis said. “Unfortunately, sometimes things happen and they happened tonight. I guess I’d rather things happen in one game than have them in multiple games.”

Junior Noah Venditto got Kamiak on the scoreboard with a goal in the 50th minute, but the Knights’ momentum was short-lived when senior Danny Guerrero scored on a free kick from 30 yards out to give Glacier Peak the 3-1 lead.

“That was good to get that third goal,” Mitalas said. “Danny’s got a good, hard shot. We told him just go for it.”

Part of the Grizzlies’ strategy, which was successful, was to crowd the midfield to stymie the Knights’ attack.

“I noticed against other schools they were knocking the ball around pretty easy,” Mitalas said. “So that’s what we did. We clogged up the middle so they couldn’t play in the middle.”

Brayden Corwin and Cabe Cartier scored the goals in the victory over the Vikings.

Glacier Peak faces Kamiak in a rematch to close out the regular season in early May.

Mitalas noted that as the defending district champions and a team that finished third at state, the Grizzlies should expect to be challenged by every opponent.

“They need to work hard in every game because everybody is after us,” Mitalas said. “You’ve got your name out there. Everybody wants to knock you off.”

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