by Marty Zier
The Viking men’s soccer team advanced to the state semi-finals after a convincing 2-0 win over the Mt. Vernon Christian Hurricanes on Nov. 10 in Anacortes.
The Vikings had a 1-1 regular season record versus the Hurricanes, scoring two goals for a win in their last league game and matching that in the playoff game but with a stingy defense maintaining a clean sheet.
“We maintained our 2-0 lead with composure and confidence and finished strong,” said head coach Terry Turner. The past experience against the Hurricanes was not lost on Turner.
“We had the benefit of knowing our opponent’s tactics,” he said. “They have played many players deep on defense and relied on the counter attack. This heavy defensive tactic allowed them to go unbeaten and unscored upon in their three tri-district matches. We knew we would have possession at midfield and shouldn’t just pound our heads against their defense. We practiced all week attacking very wide, and going around and behind their defense, switching the play from side to side often and rapidly. We practiced putting high pressure on their outlet and counter attacking players. In the game, our players executed very well and it paid off. We stretched out their defense and scored two great goals. We played with no panic, ready for semi- finals style.”
Orcas faces the (16-1) Crosspoint Warriors in the semi-finals on Friday, Nov. 17 at 8 p.m. at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, Washington. The Vikings are guaranteed either a championship game or a third-place game on Saturday.
Crosspoint’s only loss was to Mt. Vernon Christian. Crosspoint beat Friday Harbor in the first round of the Bi-District playoffs. Turner knows his next opponent.
“They are fast, skilled and well-coached and they have scored a lot of goals. They are ranked second in state, just ahead of us, currently third,” he said. “They are beatable.”