Juanita makes quick work of shorthanded Patriots

April 12, 2011

By Bob Taylor

The Liberty High School boys soccer team was missing some key players April 5 when the Patriots met host Juanita in a 3A/2A KingCo Conference game.

Some Patriots took the week because it was spring vacation. Whether their absence made a difference or not would be debatable. The big issue for the Patriots against Juanita was putting the ball in the net.

Liberty failed to connect and Juanita took advantage of a second-half penalty kick to post a 1-0 upset victory.

“We were missing some key players but I’m not sure that would have made a difference. Juanita really played well,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said. “Our problem was that we just couldn’t get the ball into the net.”

The Patriots had ample chances as they outshot Juanita 10-2.

Juanita won the game with a penalty kick with 15 minutes left in the game.

It was a disappointing loss for Liberty, which dropped to 2-3-1 in league play. Juanita entered the game winless in league play and on the season. In fact, the Rebels had been outscored 29-2 in their first seven games.

“Juanita hadn’t been at full strength all season. They finally got some key players back and played well against us,” Tremblay said. “Juanita played hard and real aggressive.”

The loss was probably a head scratcher for Tremblay, considering the Patriots have been competitive against the league’s top teams. Early this season Liberty tied perennial power Mercer Island, 2-2, and defeated defending KingCo champion Mount Si, 3-1. Liberty had a strong effort March 29 but lost a 1-0 heartbreaker to unbeaten Sammamish.

“We really played well against Sammamish,” Tremblay said. “It was a tough loss. I really thought we played well enough to win the game. We just couldn’t put the ball in the net.”

Lack of scoring hasn’t always been a problem this season. Riley Mackey and Aaron Potoschnik each have scored three goals, and Danny Dapper has a pair of goals. Blake Kessler has three assists.

Liberty has also received some strong goaltending from sophomore Nate Mak, who has two shutouts.

The Patriots, who won just two league games last season, have shown improvement.

“We’re playing better. I really think we’ve played well enough to win all of our games,” Tremblay said.

Liberty has a tough stretch of games coming up. Starting on April 15 at Mount Si, the Patriots play four straight away games. How well the Patriots perform during that stretch should determine their chances of reaching the league tournament.

Eagles tip Yelm

Issaquah exploded for four goals in the second half April 9 to defeat host Yelm 4-3 in a nonleague game.

Yelm led 3-0 at halftime. Ryan Higgins got Issaquah’s comeback started with an unassisted goal at the 44th minute. Tyler Bask, assisted by Michael Roberts, scored seven minutes later. Alex Shane then tied the game with an unassisted goal at the 70th minute. Then just before time expired. Shane set up Akash Ramachandran who scored the game-winning goal.

Issaquah improved its season record to 6-1-3.

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