ORTING — Four days after Charles Wright Academy relegated Klahowya to a loser-out district game, the Eagles were back on the field with the Tarriers. This time, they came away victorious.
Matthew Cervantes-Frank scored a dramatic game-winning goal in the dying moments to send Klahowya to the 1A state tournament on May 12, capping the end of an exhausting three-game stretch last week.
The Eagles conceded two early goals to Charles Wright Academy on May 8 at Silverdale Stadium that put them behind the eight ball. Although they rallied back to tie the game on two goals by Drew Dickson and a third by Mason Joe, the Tarriers won it on penalty kicks.
“We were controlling the run of play, but then they scored from about 30 yards on a ball [and] our keeper had it in his hands,” said head coach Jeff Quinn. “The second one was almost the state spot, it was a good shot that went wide and low.”
The loss meant a fourth match this year with Coupeville. Playing league opponents during the postseason can be risky for any team since both sides will know exactly what the other intends to do in the game.
“We had to respect that they would play some kind of adjusted strategy intended to neutralize us,” Quinn said.
But the Eagles picked up a decisive 3-0 victory May 10 over the Wolves at Silverdale Stadium. It was an excellent rebound performance that would ultimately bode well for the showdown two days later with Charles Wright Academy.
The Eagles were on the board early, thanks to the twin-brother combo of Mason and Darius Joe. In the fourth minute, a long ball played by Darius hit Mason in perfect stride and he put it past the keeper to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead.
Klahowya continued to control the game, earning six corners in the first half. One of those went for a goal when Josh Connolly’s volley went off the hands of the Coupeville keeper and into the net.
Cervantes-Frank played a brilliant cross into the box to set up a third goal by William Stewart. The Eagles cruised the rest of the way.
Klahowya’s first-round district game is at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 15 at Oak Harbor High School against South Whidbey.
Klahowya 3, Coupeville 0
First half — K, Mason Joe (Darius Joe), 4th; K, Josh Connolly, 23rd.
Second half — K, William Stewart (Matthew Cervantes-Frank), 45th.