Linde Community Fields was full of islanders and their dogs, ready to cheer on the Friday Harbor Wolverines boys soccer team Oct. 3, as they took on the LaConner Braves. It was a perfect afternoon for a game, the sun shining on the red fall leaves, and the Wolverines did not let their fans down.
“I was very pleased by how we played yesterday, definitely our best game of the season,” Coach Brett Paul said. “We possessed the ball well out of the back and were dynamic and creative offensively leading to many scoring opportunities.”
He added that he would have liked to see more of Wolverine’s shots on the frame but, “at the end of the day, that’s a bit critical — I want them to shoot often and they certainly did, which reflected in a 3-0 result.”
The Wolverines kept the pressure on LaConner from the start, and 28 minutes in, Wolverine player Alden Carli scored the first goal with assistance from Cole Curtis. During the second half of the game, LaConner fought hard, but Friday Harbor did not let up. During the second half, 62 minutes into the game, Carli scored a second goal, deflected off defense. Only a few minutes later, Curtis stepped in again assisting Mateo Zappelli to score a third goal for the team. The final score was 3-0.
“This is a really intelligent and capable group of players. They implement new concepts in games that we review in practice, better than most teams I’ve coached. For example, two of our goals came from the exact offensive sequence we’d been practicing all week. Also, they’ve all been working diligently to increase their successful pass percentages which rely on several different concepts of the game,” Paul said. Those concepts include good first touch, accurate passes, and movement off the ball.
“All the players we tracked yesterday had over 70% successful pass rates. This is a great improvement and we want to see those kinds of numbers continue.” Paul added. “We still have a lot to work on but it’s been really encouraging these past two games as they are starting to hit their stride and gain the confidence and composure required to play a really high level of soccer.”
Paul also gave gratitude to Purple and Gold for hosting the tailgate (Purple and Gold served hamburgers hotdogs and other delicious snacks during the game) to encourage fans to come eat some good food and cheer the team on, saying “We love having the community out to support.”
The Wolverines will be playing the Orcas Vikings Friday Oct. 6 at 3:30 p.m. at the Orcas High School. Friday Harbor came away with a very close 1-0 victory against them earlier in the season. It will be a competitive match. “They are always a challenging and fun opponent to play,” said Paul.