Liberty Patriots get in the win column with back-to-back victories

April 3, 2012

By Christina Lords

Colton Ronk (23), Liberty High School sophomore midfielder, has the ball pop between his legs in front of him, at the same time he splits between Sammamish High School forwards Tommy Danielsen (left) and Miguel Hernandez. Using the confusion in the next seconds, Ronk scored the double-overtime goal for the 1-0 win. By Greg Farrar

After dropping games against Hazen, Redmond, Mount Si and Bellevue high schools to open the Liberty boys soccer season, the Patriots knew they were due for a win.

With two halves played and less than a minute to go in a double overtime matchup March 27 at Sammamish High School, it looked like the Patriots might have to settle for the tie.

Not on sophomore midfielder Colton Ronk’s watch.

With seconds to spare, Ronk knocked in an unassisted goal — his first this year — and gave Liberty its first win this season.

“We deserved this,” he said. “It feels really great to finally get a win. We have to continue to work really hard in practice and finish well in games.”

Liberty’s junior goalkeeper Nate Mak achieved his first shutout of the season by squashing several attempted offensive strikes from the Totems, who already scored 11 goals in their first three games of the season.

Liberty racked up another successful matchup March 30 in a 2-1 conference win over Lake Washington with two goals scored by senior Scott McLaren, one with an assist from senior Zach Lentini 55 minutes into the game and the other with an assist from junior Oliver Janders 79 minutes into the contest.

“Our team chemistry is really good,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said. “These guys are all buddies off the field. Our ball possession is really good, but we’re just not creating a lot of shots.”

Despite the early losses in the season, he said he likes what he’s seen so far from the team and hopes the wins will give the Patriots continued confidence in the future.

“We’ve played well all season,” he said. “Our scoreboard hasn’t been good to us, but we’ve played well, which has been frustrating for us … it’s nice to get a win. Things went our way, and we got a break there at the end.”

Tremblay said the Patriots must continue to maintain their good control of the ball while creating more scoring attempts if they want to be a force in the conference.

“Our big thing is consistency,” he said. “Our problem in the past has been putting two halves together. We’ve been playing one good and one bad. If you do that in this league, you’re not going to win that many games. You have to have your A game every game.”

Christina Lords: 392-6434, ext. 239, or newcastle@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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