Experience paying off for Warriors | Boys soccer

Edmonds-Woodway running new offense
By David Pan | Mar 22, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Edmonds-Woodway’s Armon Tenaw and Burlington-Edison’s Hugo Diaz wait for the ball to drop during a nonconference game Thursday, March 15.

Under second year head coach Michael Ochoa and with a 10-player senior class, the Edmonds-Woodway boys soccer team is off to a strong start.

The Warriors opened the season 2-1 with nonconference victories over Juanita (5-1) and Burlington-Edison (2-0) and a loss to defending Wesco 4A champion Glacier Peak (4-0). The Warriors went 0-2-1 in their first three contests last year.

“I think this year’s team is understanding the mission and purpose a lot sooner than last season,” Ochoa said. “This should be a different start to the season.”

It helps with to have so many seniors along with seven juniors, including returning starting goalkeeper Mackey Guenther. The junior standout anchors a veteran defense that features four seniors – Logen Gendron, Peter Tsanev, Brock Blahous and Lorenzo Rohani.

“It’s exciting to have four seniors in the back,” Ochoa said. “They all do play together on the same club team. It’s a good advantage. All those things about communication, what you want to teach a team, they already have a lot of those things.”

The Edmonds-Woodway coach would prefer to have an underclassman or two in the mix with an eye towards the future. But Ochoa went with the experience in the backline.

“Planning for next year won’t be as easy,” he said.

Even with all of the returning players, Ochoa decided to implement a different style of attack and the changes seems to be working as evidenced by the seven goals scored in the first three contests.

“The team was sticking to the system that we have in place,” Ochoa said. “My assistant coach and I really kind of honed in on that attacking from the outside and making sure that we have our midfielders moving in and out of traffic. We’re ready to switch the ball. It’s a lot different from last year. It’s a different style of attack.

“It’s a different group of kids. You kind of adapt to the players we have. … Players like Kyle Aure and even Cameron Cohn as our center back are big losses for us.”

Ochoa likes what he’s seen from senior forward Hussen Ahmed, who is moving up from the junior varsity squad.

“He’s a crafty player up top,” Ochoa said. “He’s matured over the last season to this season. He created the first chance in our first game. He got a penalty kick. He puts a stamp on the game.”

Another varsity newcomer, junior Gian Rodrigues is slated to an attacking midfielder.

“His awareness of players around him is a lot different than we had last year,” Ochoa said.

Rodrigues will join sophomore co-captain Sebastian Olson and senior co-captain Armon Tenaw in the midfield.

“We’re looking for the attack on the outside and finding those chances to put the other team under pressure offensively,” Ochoa said.

Tensaw had two of the team’s goals against the Eagles with junior Ben Forder scoring the other.

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