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Woodinville vs Eastlake - Semifinal Recap

The Eastlake Wolves claw their way through an impressively tough Woodinville Falcon defense in a tight 7-6 semifinal game where neither team held more than a two-goal lead at Eastlake High School on Wednesday night. Story by Michael Thornbloom.

The first half was about as low scoring as one would expect from a match with two stellar defenses running the game. Eastlake started out with the first goal of the game shortly after their first shot was called a no-goal due to a crease violation. Woodinville had missed an eary EMO off a pushing penalty from Eastlake but Falcon senior attackman Zach Barnett rallied his team together with a two goal stunner that put them quickly in the lead going into the second quarter.

The second quarter was owned by each team’s respective defense with only Woodinville allowing a single goal to Eastlake making it a tied 2-2 game by the end of the half. The final half brought on a lot of excitement starting with junior longpole midfielder Musa Huseini’s half field goal over the top of Eastlake junior goalie Carter Randall to an empty net that was reminiscent of Carli Lloyd’s half field goal in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. Unfortunately for the Falcon’s their game did not end in the same fashion as the U.S. Women’s Soccer team.

That goal did spark some momentum as the Falcon’s followed up Huseini’s brilliant goal with another, putting them in a more comfortable two-goal lead. When things started to go in the Falcon’s favor, Eastlake senior midfielder Hunter Klinge got his second consecutive goal on an unset defense striking a wedge in Woodinville’s progress. This initiated a time-out call from Woodinville head coach Pete Crowley to keep his team in the game. The timeout awarded them a great play putting them back in their two-goal lead but the Wolves were still hungry.

Klinge came back with fire and grabbing his hat-trick putting them back in a goal’s reach. Soon after they were able to tie the game 5-5 to end the third quarter putting this game in a very dramatic situation. With the final quarter about to start it was very unclear who was going to walk away with a win in a game that was putting every fan in the bleachers through a rollercoaster of emotions. Woodinville senior defenseman Jake Baillie was playing lights out lacrosse that night when he bulldozed his way through two Wolves to clear and pass it off to senior midfielder Ethan Jarvis for an amazing assisted goal to bring them to a 6-5 lead.

Eastlake didn’t seem to be shaken by these odds as they composed themselves and prepared for a plan to get them into Starfire yet again. Freshman attackman Simon Breecher already had two goals on the night coming into the fourth quarter and doubled those numbers with one goal coming off Woodinville’s senior goalie Abdullah Bhurghi’s cross and another unassisted shortly after making this his fourth game this year with four goals in a single game as well as winning the semifinals for his team and sending them into Starfire for the second year straight.

“I think our best players showed up.” said Eastlake head coach Chris O’Dougherty. His team’s speed and tenacity kept them in this game and these boys love to run you up and down the field. “Sometimes we live and die by our ten man ride and tonight it caught up with us a little bit. The kids love playing it, they love playing fast and this is how we’re going to play from here on out.”

It wasn’t easy getting passed Woodinville’s defense in this one but O’Dougherty made sure to keep his squad calm and collected all the way through the finish. Now they just need to put their focus on Skyline in the upcoming championship rematch at Starfire this Saturday and O’Dougherty knows it won’t be easy.

“It’s tough to beat a team twice.” said O’Dougherty. “We have a target on our backs and I think we just got to get a little bit better.” He left the field happy that the game was so close because he feels he can use that as a platform to build off of to remind his team that every game is theirs to lose. Their few games leading up to the semifinals were fairly easy in comparison and his fear is his team may get complacent. Either way, the energy they got from this game will surely transition to the final as this pack of Wolves are looking harder to beat after every game they play.

Story by Michael Thornbloom