Corey Wiscomb photo
The defense never stops! Viking Kadence Kraayeveld battles for the ball.

Corey Wiscomb photo The defense never stops! Viking Kadence Kraayeveld battles for the ball.

Vikings take on Wolverines in season opener

  • Tue Sep 21st, 2021 1:30am
  • Sports

by Corey Wiscomb

Special to the Sounder

The mail system isn’t the only workforce that performs in rain, snow, sleet, and hail.

On Tuesday, Sept. 14 rival island teams Orcas Island and Friday Harbor went head to head for the first time this season. It was cats and dogs in the rain, but even that couldn’t stop the fans from coming out to support in the season opener. Rivalry aside, many were curious to see how OHS would perform this year after last year’s undefeated team graduated a large herd of seniors.

The event was quite exciting with a tie game being held until nearly the end of the competition. Both teams had plenty of time in possession of the ball, but Orcas definitely had a significant edge in possession time due to clean passing and ball control. Coach Turner was very pleased with how the current squad performed on the field with disciplined play. Orcas won the game, 1-0.

“The key for us was to maintain the passing style that we’ve developed over the years. Our quick passing and possession game combined with some fast attacks and solid defending. Today we really maintained our ability to play it out of the back in the style that we’ve developed over the past 4 or 5 years,” said Coach Terry Turner.

While there were several quick attacks on goal during the game by the Vikings, only one produced a score. Coming off a beautifully assisted crossing pass from junior Pedro Banderas, sophomore Jefferson Freeman found the back of the net on what proved to be the game-winning shot.

Freeman enthusiastically described the moment like this: “Pedro hit a ball in the middle and they (FH) just weren’t there. I ran on and tried to put one in the corner and I got it… back of the net baby, that’s ballgame!”

The Wolverines had several quick attacks themselves during the outing, but none found their way into the net due to a tenacious effort by Orcas Goalkeeper Paxton White. He showed determination to keep the FH attempts from scoring with a barrage of diving and leaping blocks at otherwise scores that made the crowd “ooh,” “aagh” and cheer.

Orcas only had one senior, Kadence Kraayeveld, on the field for the game. He played very well defensively and was an integral part of the win. Kraayeveld’s passing was a key to moving the Viking attacks upfield. One other senior, William Ibarra, will be fully eligible soon and Orcas hopes to be even stronger with him on the field.

While the Vikings would love to have more seniors on the field, they played confident despite the youth, and it speaks well to the future for this season and beyond.

Much is rooted in a crew of very solid juniors that are playing with a maturity beyond their normal years. Postgame, junior co-captain Tommy Anderson-Cleveland had this reflection on the team: “In the beginning, during practices, everyone had a little doubt, but we put in a lot of work. After all the dedication that we’ve had with everyone coming to practice, the team bonding, that definitely brought us together. I’m very proud of our team and we still have a lot to work on.”

Junior co-captain Diego Lago added this comment postgame, “We looked good the first half. Our passing was super. We’ve just got to focus on tuning up our final third play, our attacking. We’re getting a lot of chances that we could have capitalized on, but I’m not worried. It’s the first game and I think we’ll be doing just fine the rest of the year.”

The Vikings also traveled to Coupeville on Friday, Sept. 17, and won, 3-0. The three Orcas goals came from Anderson-Cleveland, Kraayeveld and Banderas with one assist from Forest Frausto and one from Anderson-Cleveland. The Orcas Vikings are now 2-0 this season.

 

Corey Wiscomb photo
Whoever said soccer isn’t a physical game probably hasn’t played in an Orcas vs. Friday Harbor match! Here Pedro Banderas uses dominant position to shield the ball from a larger FH player before passing off to an open teammate.

Corey Wiscomb photo Whoever said soccer isn’t a physical game probably hasn’t played in an Orcas vs. Friday Harbor match! Here Pedro Banderas uses dominant position to shield the ball from a larger FH player before passing off to an open teammate.