Roosevelt nails a decisive 9-3 victory over a visiting Sammamish-Interlake Renegade team that could not find their offensive rhythm on Thursday night in Woodland Park.
Sammamish-Interlake had to make do without their top-scoring player, junior attackman Ryan Tsoi, due to an ankle injury suffered in their victory over Newport the night before. His absence was apparent after a night with only 3 goals as their defense became the focal point in an effort to slow down a surging Rough Rider offense.
Rough Rider junior midfielder Nate Koidahl was a monster on the field leading his team with 4 unassisted goals and 11 ground balls. He quickly put his opponents in a tough spot with a hat-trick in the first 14 minutes of the game before the Renegades could even get on the board.
The Renegades spent a lot of this game on defense as they were noticeable becoming frustrated after being shut out in the first quarter. They would have lost by a larger margin if sophomore goalie Jacob Neel had not kept his defense together. It was a site to see a young goalie be so vocal and express great leadership qualities amid adversity while also maintaining a 67% save percentage on 27 shots.
It was a cold clear night in Woodland Park when both teams took to the field. Sammamish-Interlake was coming off a huge win against Newport with all the momentum in their favor. They knew they would be without Tsoi but their confidence was transparent as they appeared hungry for another win.
Roosevelt was coming off a loss from Seattle Academy but they have been having a lot of success this year on offense averaging around 10 goals per in-conference game despite having such a young team. Koidahl opened the game with 3 goals forcing the Renegade defense to fight their way out of a corner.
The second quarter was getting messy as it started to look like a sword fight with both teams scraping for ground balls and throwing rough stick checks all over the field. Sammamish-Interlake head coach Matt Turbak used his final time-out realizing he needed to rally his team for a score. This was an intelligent call as they caught their first break after sophomore midfielder Colin Moriarty capitalized on a botched pass near the Roosevelt cage for a much needed goal bringing it 3-1.
The Renegades were given another opportunity when an illegal body check was called on Roosevelt giving them an extra man opportunity. They successfully capitalized on this bringing them one goal closer to tying this game only to watch Roosevelt punch one into the cage in the final seconds of the first half, 4-2 Roosevelt.
That was the closest Sammamish-Interlake came to a tie game before Roosevelt pummeled their defense to submission. This brought on a lot of emotions from the young Renegade defense as it appeared they might slowly fall apart. Neel would not allow this to happen as he showed tremendous heart and determination to finish the game strong in an exhausting 9-3 defeat.
“It was about just getting them to come out and ready to play. It’s been a big theme of ours this year, being ready from the get go.” Rough Rider head coach Andy Herriott commented after their victory. He has a lot of confidence in the abilities of his players and doesn’t let the past games affect his game plans.
“We played slow, we should have beat Newport I think, we came out slow and got punched in the mouth early. Here we did the opposite.”
Sammamish-Interlake will host a very tough Liberty team (3-0) on Saturday as they search for a winning record. Roosevelt will prepare to face their rival school the Ballard Beavers (4-0) in an anticipated game that should guarantee a high final score. Herriott realizes the importance of his next game and expresses great belief in his players.
“It’s a big rivalry game, it’s about getting them in the right mindset. Their skills are there, they just need to believe in themselves.”
Story by Michael Thornbloom