Thursday’s Boys Soccer: United Finds Success Defending the Fortress
On a Roll: Winlock-Toledo Footballers Play Heady Soccer in 4-0 Shutout of White Salmon
By Jordan Nailon
WINLOCK — Typically when a coach implores a player to use their head they’re attempting to inspire a particular brand of savvy, situationally appropriate play. But when it comes to United soccer that’s not the only interpretation in play.
In any case, the boys from Winlock and Toledo made sure to put their style of play on display here on Thursday as they shutout White Salmon 4-0 in a 1A TriCo League match.
It was Jessee Weeks who scored the final goal on the night by employing his trusty noggin to ricochet a rebounding direct kick into the back of the net in the 69th minute.
“That was awesome. Jessee has had a couple of nice shots with the head. I told him that he was going to score this year with a header goal and it was perfect,” said Malunart. “And actually he had another one that he just overran it just a little bit or he could have had two.”
Weeks confirmed that it was his coach that got him thinking about punching in a score with his skull.
“When it went in the air all I saw was like, ah, this is my moment. I’ve got to hit it!” recounted Weeks. “I was afraid I was going to mess up on it and shank it but I just went in and just fully committed and headed it in. I got it right where I wanted it.”
After sending his header sailing past the keeper’s outstretched mittens Weeks was like a blazing comet, a trail of excited teammates in his wake, as he streaked toward the sideline in order to share the celebration with his coach.
“I was like I got it coach. I got it. And he gave me a big thumbs up with a big smile,” said Weeks. “I was planning on getting two this season so I’ve got one more to get.”
United took a 2-0 lead into the intermission thanks to a pair of goals by Andreas Malunat. His first score came in the sixth minute before Isaac Garibay assisted the second goal in the 15th minute.
“We moved the ball way better this game and I think we probably could have scored even more. We didn’t allow a goal. The last time we played these guys, we went to overtime and won 2-1,” said Coach Malunat.
Coming out of the locker room at halftime United was nearly penalized for being late back to the pitch. Even after they assumed their positions there were a few fleeting moments shortly thereafter that it appeared their tardiness may cost them .
“(White Salmon) came out in the second half motivated and I was kind of worried but after we scored that goal I felt a lot better, because they’d come out with a real sense of urgency and intensity,” Malunat said.
“That goal” that Malunat mentioned came in the 42nd minute when Gustavo Barragan won a foot race with the White Salmon goalkeeper to see who could reach a loose ball inside the box first. With one final lunge Barragan was able to boot the ball into the sidenet.
United managed to get up 13 shots in the game while White Salmon mustered just two shots all night.
“We play 11 people on defense not just the back four and it makes it tough,” said Malunat. “This field is basically our fortress. We haven’t lost here in three years so I want to keep it that way. I want to defend this field and keep doing well and hopefully be able to host here for a state game.”
The win keeps the team from Winlock and Toledo seated all alone at the top of the TriCo League standings. United (8-0-4, 8-0 league) will host King’s Way Christian on Tuesday.
Aberdeen Doubles Up W.F. West
Aberdeen scored three goals in a five minute stretch of the first half to earn a 4-2 win over W.F. West in an Evergreen 2A Conference boys soccer game at Bearcat Stadium in Chehalis on Thursday.
The Bobcats started the scoring in the 22nd minute on a Miguel Martinez goal. W.F. West tied the game in the 28th minute on a converted penalty kick goal by Bryce Laufenberg.
It was all Aberdeen shortly following the Bearcat goal. Enrique Cuevas scored in the 31st minute and Antonio Torres scored a minute later for a 3-1 lead. In the 35th minute, Rigo Alavez scored to give the Bobcats a 4-1 lead at halftime.
In the 59th minute, W.F. West’s Antheny Mendez-Leal scored the final goal of the game.
Cole Hinton started and played the first half and made three saves for the Bearcats. Alex Brummer played the second half and made five saves.
“I think overall, I was really happy with the effort and the energy. We passed the ball well, take away that five minutes where we broke down defensively in the first half and we played one of our better off games,” W.F. West coach Allen Anderson. “85 percent of the second half, we were in their final third. We just couldn’t get shots to go in.”
Anderson commended the performance of Mendez-Leal and also noted the play of Trevor Jenson on the back line for the Bearcats.
W.F. West (3-6-3, 1-5) travels to Tumwater to take on Black Hills on Monday in an EvCo game.