FORKS — The Eagles were a little late getting to their 1A state tournament first round match thanks to some construction near Crescent Lake.
But the delay certainly didn’t slow them down. The team came off the bus ready to go, showing fight and hunger from the opening whistle.
Junior midfielder William Stewart scored a hat trick and Oscar Peterson added a goal and an assist in Klahowya’s 5-1 victory over Forks.
The Eagles will travel to Overlake in Redmond for a quarterfinal match either Friday or Saturday.
“We were tight, we were talking really well,” Stewart said. “We were very organized and we had the intensity we needed.”
Forks managed a couple of decent chances early, but Stewart’s 25th minute goal swung the momentum firmly in the Eagles’ favor.
Peterson got a long throw-in to the box and the ball eventually found its way to Stewart’s foot and he deposited it into the back of the net to give his team a 1-0 lead.
Stewart made it 2-0 in the 36th minute after a Forks defender whiffed on a clearance attempt. Stewart sprinted past the defender to the loose ball and scored on the far side of the net and the Eagles took that lead into the halftime break.
Hugo Sandoval scored for Forks on a set piece in the 56th minute to cut Klahowya’s lead in half. The wind that helped the Eagles take flight in the first half was now working against them.
“That was a challenging moment, because we could have fallen in that wind and let them get another goal,” said Klahowya head coach Jeff Quinn.
But Klahowya quickly regained momentum. Four minutes after Forks scored, Logan Brunson made a terrific run to trail the play on the backside and Drew Dickson headed a cross in his direction. With the keeper scrambling to get across, Brunson scored into the far side of the net and the two-goal lead was restored.
Stewart finished off his hat trick six minutes later, as a pass from Dickson was misplayed by a Forks defender and Stewart again capitalized on the opportunity.
Peterson closed the scoring in the 71st minute, getting to goal after a long sprint down the right sideline and blasting the ball past the keeper.
The road to Sunset Chevy Stadium goes through Overlake, a talented team out of the Emerald City League and the defending 1A state champions. The Owls will have a record of 13-2-4 coming into this weekend’s showdown with Klahowya after beating Hoquiam 1-0 in their own first round match.
“I think if we play how we did today, we can make it,” Stewart said.
— Mark Krulish is a reporter for Kitsap News Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @MKrulishKDN.