Colin Giles of Kennedy Catholic leans into the ball.
SLIDESHOW: Lancers in sync
By Gerardo Bolong
Kennedy Catholic High School's goal scoring engine and defensive backbone are now firing up at just the right time.
Combining these elements splendidly, the Seamount League champion Lancers (13-1-5) evaporated Columbia River 3-0 in the Saturday Class 3A West Central/Southwest Washington bi-district boys soccer championship held at Highline Stadium in Burien.
"We had injuries, but in the last four games we've fielded the same line up," said Kennedy head coach Teddy Mitalas. "We were clicking at the end of the season and now we're starting to gel. They're working hard out here and show their gut feelings to play for each other."
The Lancers quickly swarmed into the fray, controlling most of the 80-minute action with the Chieftains from Vancouver demonstrating only slivers of strong offense and deadly defense.
In the ninth minute minute of play the fired up Lancers used a score by Colin Cossette from the right side to take a 1-0 lead.
"It was a 50/50 ball and I just shot," said the senior forward. "I got my left foot on it and it bounced off the post, hit off the goal and went in. We moved the ball well and kept possession."
The energized Lancers kept the the River from flowing with crisp ground passes and dynamite defense that pushed up into the offense to keep Columbia River stuffed up on its own side of midfield. The paced slowed down briefly, but Kennedy Catholic kept matriculating the ball down the field until scoring on the Chieftains in the 30th minute on a deflected kick.
"I was in the left corner from 20 yards out," recalled defender Nathaniel Tolton. "The ball deflected off a defender's back and the ball jumped over the (outstretched) goal keeper. We just kept passing."
Despite buffeting the River from pillar to post, Kennedy Catholic had much trouble scoring against an inspired opponent that made some spectacular defensive stops.
The only second half score KC could expedite was in the 65th minute of play when Abrel Luna scored off a throw in.
"I watched for the rebound off the throw in and shot with my right foot," Luna said. "We just wanted it more than they did."
Kennedy Catholic next meets Mt. Si at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Highline Stadium.
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