Issaquah uses balanced attack to sweep three matches

March 22, 2011

By Bob Taylor

The Issaquah High School boys soccer team showed scoring balance and plenty of heart last week when it swept three nonleague games at home.

Issaquah had a different play lead the offense in each game, which was pleasing to coach Jason Lichtenberger.

“It was great to see that kind of balanced scoring,” Lichtenberger said after the Eagles’ boosted their record to 3-0-1.

Issaquah opened the week March 14 by shellacking Chief Sealth, 7-0, in Gary Moore Stadium.

Alex Shane, a sophomore forward, scored four goals to highlight the Issaquah attack. Lichtenberger wasn’t sure if it was a school single-game record.

“But it’s the most I’ve seen by an Issaquah player since I’ve been here,” he said. “I don’t recall anyone putting up four goals in a game.”

Shane scored two of his goals in the first half as Issaquah took a 3-0 lead.

Nick Smith, Drew Tacher and Cooper Fry scored the other Issaquah goals. Michael Roberts had a pair of assists for the Eagles, too. Evan King and David Degginger shared the goalkeeping duties.

The Eagles followed up that triumph by blanking Auburn Mountainview, 3-0, March 16.

Roberts scored two of the Issaquah goals and had an assist.

“He is a guy who always needs the ball. He thinks pass first and distributes the ball very well,” Lichtenberger said of Roberts. “There might be three options when he gets the ball and he always picks the best one.”

Roberts, assisted by Smith, scored at the 25th minute to give Issaquah a 1-0 halftime lead. Roberts assisted Smith at the 70th minute as the Eagles went up 2-0. Two minutes later Roberts, assisted by Shane, concluded the Eagles’ scoring.

Goalkeeper Nathan King, no relation to Evan King, recorded the shutout.

Issaquah concluded the week March 18 with a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Eastside Catholic.

The Eagles failed to connect on some early opportunities and Eastside Catholic capitalized to lead 2-1 at halftime. Tory Stewart Steele put Eastside Catholic ahead 1-0 with an unassisted goal at the 11th minute. Zach Lawless, a sophomore midfielder, tied the game four minutes later with the first of his three goals. Roberts assisted on the goal. However, Eastside Catholic broke the tie at the 37th minute on an unassisted goal by Spencer Spears.

Lawless, assisted by Akash Ramachandran, tied the score at the 42nd minute. Then, at the 61st minute, Lawless, assisted by Roberts, got his hat trick to give Issaquah the victory.

“It was nice to see Zach score. His main role for us has been on defense, but we needed him to step up and he did,” Lichtenberger said.

Issaquah played without Shane, who was competing on a club team at a major tournament.

“We really needed someone to fill Alex’s shoes and Zach did it,” Lichtenberger said. “I was happy for Zach because he works so hard for us.”

Issaquah played the second half with just 10 players on the field because a player was given a red card and ejected.

“It was a remarkable effort by our team. They showed a lot of heart. The team grew up a lot,” Lichtenberger said.

Nathan King was Issaquah’s goalkeeper and recorded his second win of the week. The plan early in the season was for Nathan to split time with Evan King.

“Nathan and Evan are both good keepers. I think they are two of the best in the league,” Lichtenberger said.

Overall, Lichtenberger said he was pleased with the Eagles’ performance last week.

“It was a pretty good one for us. We played some pretty good teams and had some favorable results,” he said. “But we’re nowhere what we think we can be. We haven’t hit our stride yet.”

Issaquah opens 4A KingCo Conference play at home at 7:30 p.m. March 24 against Woodinville.

Patriots tie Mercer Island

The Liberty boys soccer team opened 3A/2A KingCo Conference play March 18 with a 2-2 tie against host Mercer Island. All the goals came in the second half.

Alex Velasquez put Liberty ahead on an unassisted goal at the 60th minute. Matthew McNamara, of Mercer Island, tied the game at the 64th minute. Riley Mackey, assisted by Blake Kessler, put the Patriots ahead 2-1 at the 73rd minute.

Liberty maintained its lead until Mercer Island’s Peter Clark scored in the final seconds to tie the game.

Liberty also lost a nonleague game to visiting Redmond, 3-2, March 15. The Patriots and Mustangs were tied 2-2 at halftime. Redmond’s Bryan Forbes scored the game-winning goal at the 47th minute.

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