By Sam Paul-Barrette
Playing the third of a three-game road spell to open the season, the Wolverines collected their second win of the season with a 4-1 win against La Conner.
Friday Harbor came into the game missing Michael Hoeller (injury), Sam Paul-Barrette (eligibility) and Arno Issanjou (foreign exchange), all of whom are key offensive players. But the Wolverines showed no sign of missing pieces in the first half, with two goals in the first 20 minutes. The first breakthrough came in the 12th minute, when Will Christison was able to get his head on a cross and flick it perfectly to fellow junior Danil Sonjaya, who then slotted a hard shot to the far post. It was Sonjaya’s first goal of the season, after missing the first two games due to ineligibility.
Five minutes later, Nick Armstrong found himself one-on-one with La Conner keeper Matt Semrau. The junior calmly tapped the ball over to senior captain Sam Stewart, who tapped in his third goal of the season. Friday Harbor had its chances to score even more in the first half, but were unable to convert, with Sam Stewart having a close range shot deflected over and Peter Strasser seeing his effort just before halftime saved off the line by a defender.
The Wolverines came out of halftime fired up against the Braves, who seemed to be arguably the better team for the beginning of the second half. But in the 55th minute, Will Christison would put the game to bed for Friday Harbor, taking a through ball from Stewart and blasting it into the roof of the net.
The Wolverines would be the aggressor from then on, with Stewart adding his second goal of the match after a great passing sequence. He received a pass from freshman midfielder Jackson Pieples and slotted it cooly into the bottom corner for a commanding 4-0 lead. Pieples was credited with his first varsity assist on the play, only minutes after coming into the game.
The Braves put the pressure on the Wolverines as the clock ran down, rewarded with a goal with five minutes left in regulation, as Friday Harbor defender Ian Williams was whistled for a foul in the box to stop a La Conner attack. Preston Stewart stepped up and blasted the penalty kick past Dalton Ayers in the Wolverines goal and to give Braves’ fans something to cheer about.
Despite conceding their second penalty kick in as many games, the Wolverines picked up their second win in a week. They improved to 2-1 on the season and played Shoreline Christian in their home opener Monday, Sept. 22, and are home against No.1 ranked Providence Classical Christian Thursday, Sept. 25, beginning at 4:30 p.m.