Vikings soccer continue playoff push

by Jefferson Freeman

Orcas High School student

The Vikings soccer team traveled to Mount Vernon to take on the seven in ranked MVC Hurricanes on Oct. 21.

A tough battle in the cold and rain ended up going to a penalty shoot-out where the Vikings found an edge taking a 3-2 victory. Orcas controlled the match but was unable to put a ball in the net. A game filled with physicality and defending found itself at 0-0 after 80 minutes of play and was sent into overtime.

With each half only lasting five minutes, scoring can be a challenge — and so it was. Now after 90 minutes of play the Vikings and Hurricanes were dead even at 0-0. The whole match came down to a penalty shoot-out with each team getting five shots with the game on the line. Mount Vernon won the toss and elected to take the first shot. Goalkeeper Paxton White stepped up but was unable to knock away the first shot.The first shooter for Orcas was Tommy Anderson-Cleveland, who fooled the keeper and smashed it to the left, evening it at 1.

Mount Vernon brought up their second shooter and an impressive save from White sent the away supporters into a frenzy. Orcas now had a chance to take the lead with William Garcia shooting and he took advantage of the opportunity, slotting the ball in the bottom right corner, giving Orcas a 2-1 advantage.

The next shooters from both teams were unable to connect with the goal, keeping it 2-1 after 3 shots. Mount Vernon’s fourth shooter beat White by inches to the right side, getting the home crowd right back into the game. A diving save by the MVC goalie on the fourth shot seemed to give the Hurricanes momentum with only 1 shot remaining for each team. The Mount Vernon goalie stepped up to take the 5th shot and fired high and wide leaving the game to Ethan Moss. He stepped up and coolly fired the ball into the bottom right corner, beating the outstretched arm of the MVC keeper, ending the shootout 3-2 in favor of the Vikings. A hard-fought match ended in dramatic fashion for the Vikings as they now look towards the playoffs.

After a thrilling victory in Mount Vernon, the Vikings turned around and took on Grace Academy at home on Saturday, Oct. 23. In honor of cancer awareness, the Vikings wore pink socks with their black uniforms. Orcas struck early with a goal from Anderson-Cleveland on a beautiful cross from Moss.

Grace came out much stronger than they had in previous matchups and kept the game close. The score remained 1-0 for most of the first half before a ball was put into the box by Grace and a possible handball was not called leading to a deflected shot finding the back of the net to even it before the half. Tied at halftime was not a desired situation for the Vikings, but they maintained composure and opened the second half with an attacking focus. About a quarter way through the second half the Vikings broke the tie on a ball put into the box by Pedro Guerra that would assist a score by Jefferson Freeman. Both teams pushed but the game remained tied until a deflected pass in front of the net led to a Grace goal to even it at the end of regulation.

For the second time in three days, the Vikings were playing overtime. This time, however, they wasted no time in attacking, with Toby Smith playing a brilliant ball to Anderson-Cleveland in front of the goal where he slotted it in the bottom corner to take home a Viking victory. Orcas has two regular-season games remaining, including their senior game on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. against Coupeville.