Vikings’ soccer team: homecoming heroes

by Jefferson Freeman

Orcas High School student

Homecoming week saw two games for the Vikings’ soccer team, playing host to the Mount Vernon Christian Hurricanes and Lopez Lobos.

The Canes came to town on Oct. 4 for the second matchup of the season of the two sides, the first being a 1-0 Viking victory in Mount Vernon. This game would have a high impact on both league standings and state rankings.

Neither team was able to get anything into the net in the first half as each keeper faced only a handful of chances. The second half would be much of the same but a brilliant shot from Guillermo Sagarra-Iglesias found its spot past the reaching arms of the Hurricane goalie. The Canes got their equalizer not long after with a floating ball sneaking over every Viking and into the net. Many more chances missed their spot, and a couple of no-calls meant that the game would need overtime.

Even with excitement running high overtime proved much of the same: 1-1 after a full 90 minutes. Penalty kicks would decide the result with the Hurricanes getting the first opportunity. Senior keeper Paxton White got his opportunity to shine and he took it, making an excellent save on the first shot to put the Vikings in the driver’s seat. Tommy Anderson-Cleveland kept the momentum rifling the ball into the back of the net with the Vikings’ first kick. MVC had the opportunity to retaliate but White had other ideas. A save by the MVC keeper gave the Hurricanes an opportunity, but yet again White was in the goal. Three saves on three shots. Diego Lago wasted no time in smashing one in the top of the goal leaving the visitors in a must-score situation. And for the first time that day, White couldn’t get to the ball, because it sailed over the crossbar giving the Vikes an incredible 2-0 penalty kick win.

“We’re very confident in his (Paxton White) ability to keep those PKs out of the net. When we saw him save that first one, as he does so often, it sets the tone for the rest of the shootout,” Lago said.

Added head coach Terry Turner: “We came in to play our style of possession ball and do our game as well as we could. I think that’s going to be the key for us because we do play that game very well. We worked on shooting this week, and will continue to work on shooting next week as well.”

The Homecoming game on Oct. 8 would be a cross-island matchup between a much-improved Lopez Lobos and the Vikings. Joaquin Shanks-Morales got the lead early but Lopez didn’t stop pushing. While the Vikings had plenty of opportunities to score, the Lobos got a few of their own. A surprisingly close game would be 1-0 at the half.

Early into the half, a handball in the box would get an Orcas PK, but the post denied it to keep the score even. Not much later Jefferson Freeman was tripped up in the box and this time the penalty would go in, with Anderson-Cleveland making it 2-0. The game seemed broken open after that point, with Pedro Guerro dribbling through the defenders to get the game’s third goal. Anderson-Cleveland hit a ball through to Lago to make it 4-0. Anderson-Cleveland and Kevin Ibarra would add goals of their own for a final score of 6-0.

Tuesday, Oct. 11 sees the Vikings heading to Friday Harbor with an opportunity to avenge their only loss this season. Then Friday, Oct. 14, the Vikings head to Providence for a rematch of last season’s state championship. A very tough week sees the Vikings going back to the only places they were defeated during their championship campaign.