Edmonds-Woodway looking to rebound in district playoffs | Boys soccer

Team enters postseason having only won one game out of its last five
By David Pan | May 05, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Edmonds-Woodway’s Armon Tenaw (left) dribbles the ball up the field against Mountlake Terrace’s Juan Lopez during a Wesco 3A game Friday, April 28, at Edmonds Stadium.

It’s been a bit of a rollercoaster ride for Edmonds-Woodway.

The Warriors spent a good portion of the season atop the Wesco 3A boys soccer standings during a stretch in which they won six of seven games.

But since mid-April, Edmonds-Woodway won only one out of five games and the team finished the season with back-to-back shutout losses against Mountlake Terrace and Shorewood.

The Hawks prevailed 2-0 on Friday, April 28, and the Thunderbirds won 1-0 on Monday, May 1. Edmonds-Woodway (7-4-1, 7-7-2) wound up tied for fourth place with Shorewood and is scheduled to face Squalicum at 4 p.m., Saturday, May 6 in a first-round district playoff contest at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.

The 2-0 loss to Mountlake Terrace was, in some respects, a game that was more closely contested than the score might indicate. The Hawks’ two goals came off of a penalty kick and a corner kick.

Edmonds-Woodway coach Michael Ochoa said that the Warriors played well in the first half.

“We finished really strong,” he said. “We got the ball moving really quickly.”

The Hawks, protecting their 2-0 lead, stacked the defense with nine players and effectively stymied the Warriors’ attack.

“When you put nine guys back on defense, it’s difficult to find your way through,” Ochoa said. “We had chances in the second half, but we couldn’t capitalize.”

Mountlake Terrace likes to kick the ball long, Ochoa added, and there wasn’t much play in the midfield.

The key when facing a team that plays the long ball is the defense holding the ball and playing it into the midfield.

“Keeping these guys disciplined and keeping to your game of keeping the ball to the ground, that was a difficult thing for everyone to do tonight,” Ochoa said.

Emotions also seemed to be riding high with both squads in what has traditionally been a fierce rivalry.

“I think they got a little bit more mentally caught up into this game,” Ochoa said of his players.

Earlier losses to Stanwood and Snohomish were similar to the Mountlake Terrace game. The Spartans packed their defense once they took the lead and the Panthers’ scored quick goals on a corner kick and a free kick.

Some of the Warriors have missed recent practices and Ochoa said that getting the entire team back is going to be critical moving forward.

“The biggest thing in these three losses has been the performance out here on the practice field,” he said. “Hopefully, that improves.”

Edmonds-Woodway is a team that plays the ball on the ground and has many different players scoring goals and assisting on those goals.

“It’s getting them back involved in the play offensively,” Ochoa said. “One of the things we’re going to talk about in training is making sure our attack becomes solid in the way we’re passing, trapping and possessing the ball in dangerous places against other teams.”

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