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'Boys open season on a high note
In the Valley Record's Mount Si boys soccer preview, Wildcat coach Darren Brown indicated that his team was unpredictable this year. Well, if last week's efforts were any indication, look for a potentially great season.
The Wildcats opened the campaign last Tuesday, March 11, scoring a big 1-0 victory over Mercer Island - a team many expect will contend for a postseason berth this season in Kingco 3A.
Senior Adam Baumgardner scored his first goal of the season, and it came off a feed from his new teammate, sophomore Doug Silvius. Silvius, a transfer from Colorado, could potentially be a big factor as the season wears on, as underscored by his assist.
Cody Tipton and Ryan Herman shared the shutout at the net for Mount Si.
Last Friday, March 14, the Wildcats traveled to Skyline to play the Spartans, and like many a matchup over the past couple of seasons, it got pretty physical and kept officials busy.
In a card-filled contest, Mount Si held their own against the Spartans, and the new kid in town helped the effort greatly one more time, as the Wildcats forced a tie with the boys from the Plateau.
Silvius scored his first Washington state high school goal, and hard work by both Wildcat goaltenders preserved the 1-1 draw, leaving Mount Si with a very good 1-0-1 mark and four points to start the season.
However, the Wildcats did pay a bit of a price as senior captain Kevin Isackson was red-carded late in overtime and will miss one game.
Brown was pleased.
"We have some veteran players that can play up in the middle for us, and our back line's coming together," Brown said. "Two games in and we have a lot more work to do, but so far so good."
The game started quickly, as Skyline got on the board early in the contest. In the sixth minute of play, the Spartans fired a shot that was stopped by Tipton, but the ball deflected to freshman Braxton Griffin, who fired home the rebound and put Skyline in the lead, 1-0. The contest became defensive, and more physical as it went on. Both sides got great scoring chances, but the goalkeepers from both teams stood tall and made big plays. The first of the several cards of the night came in the 36th minute, when Spartan senior captain Tom Molyneux-Elliott was assessed a yellow for a hard foul on a Mount Si player. It would only heat up in the second half.
Silvius picked up his special goal in the 47th minute, taking a feed from Adam Baumgardner, then ramming it home past the Skyline keeper to tie things at 1-1.
"Adam played a good through ball, and I just put it away," Silvius said.
Not only can he score goals, but Brown says Silvius brought another important component to the table.
"He's a neutralizer when we needed one, which was huge," Brown said. "Doug's a clutch player; I love his game."
As the game continued to heat up, officials started to hand out more cards. In the 62nd minute, Isackson and Spartan defender Talal Basha were handed yellows for apparent unsportsmanlike conduct. In the 79th minute, Wildcat defender Ben Joselyn received a card for a hard foul on a Skyline player.
During overtime, in the 86th minute, Isackson was handed his second yellow of the game, which equaled a red card, for a hard foul of another Spartan. Isackson was ejected, and was scheduled to miss Tuesday's home opener against Liberty, with an automatic one-game suspension. Fortunately for Mount Si, it was called a "soft" red card, allowing the Wildcats to substitute Isackson and not be down a man the rest of the way.
Sophomore defender Willie Jenson praised his teammates' toughness in the face of such physical play.
"We can do it, obviously," Jenson said. "We won against Mercer Island and we came out and battled back here. And anytime you battle back, it shows that you can stick with it."
Mount Si is at Bellevue on Friday, March 21. Game time is 7:30 p.m.