Patriots humble Hazen

March 15, 2011

By Tim Pfarr

Senior forward scores hat trick

Aaron Potoshnik (right), Liberty senior forward, is congratulated by teammate Josh Muttart after scoring the first of his three goals March 12 against Hazen. By Greg Farrar

The Liberty High School boys soccer team started its season March 12 with a 3-0 win against neighboring Hazen High School.

Liberty senior forward Aaron Potoshnik led the way, recording a hat trick, and senior midfielder Blake Kessler fed Potoshnik with two assists.

“It just feels like a pretty good way to start out the season,” said Potoshnik, who played defense last year. “Me and Blake were working great together, and the whole team was working great, having great chemistry.”

The Liberty midfield was also on its game, stopping Hazen’s drives and holding the Highlanders to just three shots on goal.

Potoshnik scored his first goal in the 14th minute with help from Kessler, marking the only score of the first half. In the second half, he found the back of the net in the 66th and 69th minutes, scoring his second with another Kessler assist and his third with a header.

“Aaron did awesome,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said.

He said changing Potoshnik to a forward came after Potoshnik began playing forward on his club soccer team and found success.

“That’s where we put him, and that’s where we’re going to keep him,” Tremblay said.

The 2011 Liberty team is made up of predominately seniors and sophomores, and many of them play on the same club team.

“Typically, you’ve got guys scattered around on club teams, and trying to put them together in a 10-week high school season and get them to play together is so tough,” Tremblay said, adding that the team’s entire defense plays together in club soccer. “Having all those guys play together in the back is just huge.”

The team did a good job of finishing against Hazen, but Tremblay said continuing to focus on finishing will be integral as the season moves forward.

“That’s kind of our motto,” he said. “Finish in everything we do — in practice, in games. Give them that attitude and winning mindset where we come out and expect to win.

“It’s a good start today,” he said.

Kessler said another key to success will be patience and maintaining possession rather than quickly dishing off the ball.

“That’s when we tend to screw up,” he said about sending away the ball.

Liberty also hosted Redmond High School March 15, after The Issaquah Press’ deadline. Next, the team travels to Mercer Island March 18 for the first 3A/2A KingCo Conference game of the season. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m., and the team will look to use its talented personnel to continue its early success.

“We’ve got senior leadership and sophomore talent,” Tremblay said. “It seems to be a good mix.”

Tim Pfarr: 392-6434, ext. 239, or newcas@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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