Mount Si holds off late game surge by Eastlake
March 24, 2010
By Christopher Huber
NEW — 12:20 p.m. March 24, 2010
It was a one-sided game for the Eastlake Wolves, but the Mount Si Wildcats almost came away with a win after a chance goal March 17 at Eastlake High School.
In Eastlake’s final pre-season match of the season, the young team made Mount Si work hard to keep the ball out of the goal. The hard work paid off for most of the game. Mount Si took a 1-0 first-half lead, but Eastlake equalized it in the second half to secure the 1-1 draw.
“It was a tough game. We got a lot of chances,” said Sawyer Preston, Eastlake junior midfielder. “We’ve gotta be more efficient in the final third of the field.”
The Wildcats’ defensive efforts worked for two-thirds of the game. It had a 1-0 lead at halftime after sophomore defender Jonathan Cramer scored an opportunistic goal in the 30th minute. It came off a corner kick that was not properly cleared. It bounced around the scrum near the goal and Cramer hammered it past Eastlake goalie Devin DeAlteris.
He said he felt good about the goal, but focused on Eastlake’s quickness and consistency fielding the ball.
“We needed to clear it (more). They kept getting every header ball,” Cramer said. “We’ll work more on defense.”
The Wolves took charge from the get go, controlling the tempo, sweeping the whole field to tire Wildcat defenders. Good ball handling and speed proved effective, but mainly in keeping Mount Si on its heels and far from the goal.
“We got very relaxed sitting on a 1-0 lead and our shape was lost, as well our uptempo style of play,” Mount Si coach Darren Brown said on the team’s Web site.
Eastlake fell back in the first half after missed early opportunities and the hard-to-defend goal by Cramer.
It didn’t help that Mount Si had Ryan Herman, the 6-foot-7 Division I prospect, in goal.
The Wolves tied it in the 61st minute off the foot of Preston. Senior midfielder Thomas Cools inbounded the corner kick from the left side. After the ball bounced around at the far side of the goal box, junior defender Gerard Galvin punched it over to Preston, who lofted it over Herman’s head. It was his first goal of the season, he said.
“We work well together,” Preston said after the game. “We knuckled down and kept putting the pressure.”
From then on, The Wildcats spent much of the time bunching eight to 10 defenders around its goal.
Eastlake nearly sealed the win numerous times in the second half, including a last-minute Renato Bandeira header shot. Herman saved it as he dove to his left.
Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or email@example.com.