The Eastlake Wolves (2-2) finish their sixth non-league game in a row with a bang against the Seattle Academy Cardinals (6-0) in an 8-4 test of metal on Monday night at Genesee Park as both teams prepare to head back to their conference schedules.
The Wolves sealed this game up in the first half after scoring four unanswered goals in the second quarter keeping their lead out of reach of their opponents. Seattle Academy put together some good plays in the final half but was unable to capitalize on extra man plays and clear the ball in their eventual defeat.
Eastlake junior attackman Andrew Edwards put together three goals in their win against the Cardinals. He was one of six players to have a goal in this game as the Wolves showed major diversity in their scoring potential.
Cardinal senior goalie Christian Batigan had one of his better nights with a 56% save percentage against a tough Eastlake team that had 18 shots on goal. He doesn’t usually have to deal with more than seven shots in a game but the Wolves kept him busy as he desperately tried to keep his team in the game.
The first quarter was off to a great start for both teams as they opened up with a goal each in the first few minutes. Eastlake sophomore goalie Carter Randall made three impressive saves in this quarter keeping the score even. This was crucial in their win as the Cardinals defense was making it very difficult for them to get to the crease.
A major shift in momentum came in the second quarter when the Wolves shut their opponent out and ran up the score 5-1. Freshman attackman Adam Page was able to get his second goal of the entire season in a leaping shot across the crease that sparked their entire sideline. This energy noticeably carried over into the rest of the game.
Both teams were even on goals in the final half each putting up three more to wrap up the game 8-4. The Cardinals struggled to clear the ball for most of the game and were outmatched on face-offs only winning 2-of-14.
The Wolves finished their sixth straight non-league game in a row after starting out in Texas a week ago. Some young athletes may not have their hearts in a non-league game but this team still wants to win.
“The focus is always getting better at running through our sets, defensively talking, playing as a unit.” Assistant head coach Kenan Uozgur explains.
“Especially with non-league, even though they don’t technically count against us, we still want to win, we still want to get guys in, get through our repetition, get through our sets and play as a unit collectively.”
After a slew of games against opponents they are unfamiliar with, it becomes increasingly important to focus your team on the upcoming conference games. This is particularly true for a team that is tied three ways in their conference with Woodinville and Issaquah, both of which they will face this week.
“It starts at practice, you’ve got to practice how you play. It’s not just two hours or three hours or however long we are practicing.” Uozgur comments on his team’s preparations. “It’s getting the right mindset, running through things that you don’t understand, asking questions and just coming ready to play.”
Seattle Academy will also get back to their conference schedule as they travel to Jane Addams Field Tuesday night to face Nathan Hale (4-4). Eastlake will host Issaquah (2-2) Wednesday night in the hopes to come out with a winning record in their hunt for a play-off berth.
Story by Michael Thornbloom