Gunners shutout Lane United
July 1, 2014
By Christina Corrales-Toy
Puget Sound Gunners midfielder Justice Duerksen had no choice but to score in the June 27 contest against Lane United FC. Family pride was on the line.
His younger sister, in town from California for a local soccer tournament, had scored a couple of goals that morning, and his whole family, including mom Betsy, an All-American player herself at Boston College, made it to Issaquah High School to watch him play.
“Oh yeah, I knew I had to go get a goal, too,” he said.
The Seattle University star didn’t disappoint, putting the Gunners on the board in the game’s 17th minute with a well-curled free kick from about 20 yards out. It was all the Gunners (2-6-2) needed to defeat Lane United FC (2-6-1) on a drizzly, mild night.
“I’ve been practicing free kicks lately, and I just told the guys I was going to cross it,” Duerksen said of the score. “I think I caught the keeper out, and I just hit it near post.”
It was the Gunners’ second win of the season, and the team’s first at home since relocating to Issaquah this year. The team’s first win came more than a month ago when it defeated the Sounders U-23.
It was a long time to wait between victories, Gunners head coach Jimmy Ball said, but it was a big win for the young team as his players continue to mature.
“With this being my first season in this league, I’ve learned a lot as the year’s gone on,” he said. “I thought we were fantastically organized tonight and I thought we were very patient, and I’m very pleased with that.”
The last time the teams met, Lane United beat the visiting Gunners, 4-1. The June 27 matchup was a duel between the two teams at the bottom of the Northwest Division. The Gunners’ win vaulted the team out of the division cellar, at least for now, giving it eight points to Lane United’s seven.
Both teams are young, Ball said, as he praised the visiting team’s play. It is the Oregon club’s first season in the Premier Development League.
“I thought they played ever so well, but they just couldn’t break us down, and I’m proud of that, because we’ve been broken down too many times,” Ball said.
The Gunners have just a few games remaining, including home games against the Seattle Sounders U-23 and the Victoria Highlanders. The team made the short trip to Redmond to play the Washington Crossfire on June 30, but results were not available at press time.
“As a team, we’re coming together, got the result we needed to today and hopefully we can build on this for the rest of the season,” said goalkeeper Keegan Rogers, who had the shutout.
Fans are invited to watch the Gunners take on the Seattle Sounders U-23 in a special Independence Day game at Issaquah High School. The team takes on the Major League Soccer-affiliated squad at 3 p.m. July 4.