Moeller’s two goals lead Falcons over Wolverines in shutout

Falcon sophomore forward James Young turns past a Wolverine defender during Thursday night’s game.  - Scott Rasmussen / Journal of the San Juan Islands
Falcon sophomore forward James Young turns past a Wolverine defender during Thursday night’s game.
— image credit: Scott Rasmussen / Journal of the San Juan Islands

Despite pouring rain and howling wind, the skies cleared and a rainbow appeared by the second half of the boys soccer game between South Whidbey and Friday Harbor.

There was no pot of gold for the Wolverines, however. Falcon senior forward Noah Moeller scored two goals and South Whidbey cruised 5-0 over Friday Harbor on Thursday.

“He’s playing the best I’ve ever seen him play,” said Falcon head coach Joel Gerlach. “I know that if the field hadn’t been a mud box, he would have scored two more (goals).”

The South Whidbey boys soccer team (1-0-0 overall) secured its first win on goals from four different players. The shutout defense was at the hands of Falcon senior goalie Garrett Thomson.

“I thought we were in total control,” Gerlach said.

A water-covered field slowed the Falcons’ offense a bit.

“The field was terrible so it was really hard to play good soccer on it,” Gerlach said. “There was standing water on portions of it; it was raining sideways for part of the game.”

“It was hard to move the ball around the field. It would hit one spot and just stop, or it would hit another spot and skip right off the field.”

South Whidbey’s speed couldn’t be contained for long, however. The Falcons led 4-0 at halftime, and only allowed two shots on goal.

The early advantage allowed South Whidbey to run a different defense. Gerlach said he had his team try a flat back four, which required his players to shift and adjust more, rather than playing man-to-man coverage or zone. Mainly, Gerlach said, some Falcons switched from the left to the right side of the field. After seeing how the Falcons performed, though, Gerlach said he wouldn’t make any changes.

“It was a good chance to see what players fit what position best,” Gerlach said. “(Thursday’s) game really allowed me to identify a few of the key positions we should be playing.”

Moeller led the Falcons with two goals in a little more than a half of play. His first score came after he stole a pass near midfield, dribbled through three Wolverine defenders to the right side and drilled the ball into the far corner.

“That was just a great way to start off the game, showing that speed and that agility,” Gerlach said.

Three other Falcons scored. Juniors Guy Sparkman and Sam Turpin and senior Jimmy Price each had a goal. Price’s came off a deflected shot by Moeller, which Price chipped into the back of the net. Gerlach credited his offense for keeping the ball in the Wolverines’ half of the field for much of the match.

“There was a lot of pressure. Their goalie did really well,” said Gerlach, who estimated Friday Harbor’s keeper had 15 saves.

Friday Harbor has a young squad. The Wolverines consist of nine freshmen, five juniors, two seniors and one sophomore.

South Whidbey, in contrast, is loaded with mostly juniors and seniors, and a handful of sophomores.

The Falcons travel north to face the Mount Baker Mountaineers (0-2-0) on Saturday, March 17. Last year, the Falcons shutout the Mountaineers (who only won one match last season) 3-0 at home.

Journal of the San Juans editor Scott Rasmussen contributed to this report.


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