Spartans notch another shutout

April 5, 2011

By Christopher Huber

The fog and pouring rain didn’t stop the Skyline High School Spartans boys soccer team from pouring it on April 1 against Inglemoor.

Kyle Olmstead, a Skyline senior, races down the sideline toward the goal as Inglemoor defenders bring pressure. By Eric Olmstead

Tromping over a soaked turf field and kicking up a trail of mist on every slide tackle, the Skyline boys pressed hard on offense and held a tight defensive line to notch another 4A KingCo Conference win at Spartan Stadium.

Skyline improved to 6-0-2 and earned its third shutout victory of the season after beating the visiting Vikings 3-0. Inglemoor went to 2-4-1 this spring.

Standout senior forward Braxton Griffin started things off with a goal in the 17th minute. Evan Kamber, a senior defender, had the assist. It was Griffin’s fifth goal of the season.

“He held off the defense and turned and finished,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “It was a top-quality finish from Braxton.”

Both teams held strong on defense for much of the rest of the match. Inglemoor started taking more risks on offense, which ended up creating opportunities for the Skyline defense, Braman said. In the 63rd minute, Skyline sophomore forward James Molyneaux-Elliott took a pass from teammate Michael Stoddard (senior defender) and put the Spartans up 2-0.

Inglemoor couldn’t get much going against the tight Spartan defense, especially against goalkeeper Steven Pankiewicz, a senior. Of the Vikings’ 10 total shots, Pankiewicz saved all four that came close, according to reported game results, and completed the shutout.

“Steven did a great job for us in the back,” Braman said.

Travis Strawn, a mainstay for Skyline at midfield, put things out of reach when he scored an unassisted goal with 1 minute, 48 seconds remaining in the game. After a botched Inglemoor corner kick, Skyline’s Jake Bechtel took the ball and spotted Strawn, who was streaking downfield. Strawn took the ball 60 yards and shot a laser to the lower corner of the goal, Braman said.

“He has moments like that when he shows his quality,” Braman said.

The goal was Strawn’s seventh of the year and put him among the league leading.

In all, Skyline took 24 shots against Inglemoor.

“We feel so fortunate to have such quality on the attacking end,” Braman said. “Our forwards have been generating some great offense.”

Spartans down Garfield

Skyline won an early showdown with host Garfield on March 29 when the Spartans posted a 4-2 victory in Memorial Stadium.

Last year the two teams tied for first place in the 4A KingCo Conference and later met in league tournament championship game, which was won by Garfield.

Kyle Olmstead and Strawn each had a goal and an assist for Skyline, which handed Garfield its first loss of the season. The goals were also the first scored against Garfield this season.

Griffin and Jason Twaddle scored Skyline’s other goals.

Eagles rip Roosevelt

Michael Roberts scored a hat trick April 1 as he led Issaquah to a 6-3 victory against visiting Roosevelt in Gary Moore Stadium. Alex Shane had two goals and an assist for the Eagles, who went to 2-1-1 in league and 5-1-3 for the season.

Issaquah suffered its first loss of the season March 29 when the Eagles lost to host Inglemoor 3-1. Akash Ramachandran, who was assisted by Roberts, scored Issaquah’s goal.

Patriots pummel Lake Washington

Liberty walloped visiting Lake Washington 4-0 April 1 in a 3A/2A KingCo contest. Blake Kessler, Danny Dapper, Riley Mackey and Mitchell Ronk scored Liberty’s goals. The Patriots went to 2-2-1 in league and 3-3-1 for the season.

The Patriots lost to visiting Sammamish 1-0 March 29.

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