Wildcat soccer slows down after strong start

SNOQUALMIE - The Mount Si Wildcat boys' soccer squad opened with a tough 1-0 victory over the Liberty Patriots last Tuesday at Mount Si High School. With the win, the Wildcats remained undefeated and in first place in the Valley Division.

Senior defender Dan Barnes tallied the lone goal, which came early in the second minute of play. Star junior forward Yosef Yetneberk, known for his offense, set the goal up with a strong defensive stand.

Off the opening faceoff, Yetneberk chased the Liberty ball handler back deep into the Patriots' defensive zone. Liberty eventually turned it over and off a corner kick, Barnes punched in the goal past the Patriots' senior goalie T.J. Baseler.

The Wildcats' defense did its job giving senior goalie Kellen Patterson his third straight shutout to open the season.

"Mainly it's the four guys in front of me. I mean, I haven't really had [many] shots and it's all because of them," said Patterson.

Barnes loved his team's start.

"We're shooting to take the division this year and Liberty's the team we're fighting for first place with," said Barnes.

Coach Tom Bialek was pleased with the Wildcats' play.

"We played great. We didn't get another goal, but we deserved to win and we did win," he said.

Mount Si went on the road April 1, and suffered its first loss of the year at the hands of the previously winless Interlake Saints, 2-1.

The Wildcats returned home Saturday and faced Sammamish. Mount Si played well for much of the game, then the Totems struck twice late and stole an overtime victory, 2-1.

"It was a good hard-fought game and [Sammamish is] a good team. It would have been nice to at least hang on and get a tie, but got to give them credit, they did what it took," said Bialek.

David Roy scored both goals for Sammamish; first in the 72nd minute, then in the 87th minute. Both times he ran right past Wildcats' senior goalie Kellon Patterson and fired the ball into the open net.

Mount Si opened the scoring in the 26th minute when Yetneberk was fouled by Sammamish just outside the goal box. The referees awarded him a free kick and Yetneberk passed the ball to Barnes, who fired the ball past Sammamish's goalkeeper into the back of the net to put the Wildcats up 1-0.

"He struck it really well, he just nailed it," said Bialek.

The game was an up and down defensive affair with few scoring opportunities in the first half. Barnes' goal was the lone real scoring chance Mount Si had in the entire half. The Wildcats got some excellent opportunities in the second half. In the 46th minute, Barnes narrowly missed scoring, as his shot went off the crossbar. In the 57th minute, Yetneberk fired a shot which just went wide of the net. In the 78th minute, senior midfielder Daniel Talevich narrowly missed what would have been the game-winning goal, as his header went just wide of the net.

The Wildcats were 3-2 as of the Valley Record's deadline. On April 9 they head to Mercer Island to take on a solid Islanders squad. Game time for that match is 7:30 p.m. Mount Si will not return home until April 27, when they face the Skyline Spartans in a rematch of last year's heartbreaking 1-0 playoff loss.

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