Battle on the Plateau: Late goals lead Eastlake to win over Skyline

Skyline soccer coach Don Braman was left scratching his head Tuesday night — unsure how it could happen again.

Skyline soccer coach Don Braman was left scratching his head Tuesday night — unsure how it could happen again.

“We’re doing everything that we wanted to do, until we make mental mistakes at the end,” he said.

For the second straight contest, the Spartans allowed a pair of late second-half goals, this time falling 2-0 to Plateau rival Eastlake. They lost 2-1 to Issaquah in overtime last Friday, and are now 0-3 to start the season.

“It’s a disappointing result, and I thought we deserved better,” Braman said. “We had an opportunity to take advantage of an Eastlake team that wasn’t clicking on all cylinders.”

Admittedly, the Wolves weren’t as focused as head coach Adam Gervis thought they should be — especially for a group that returns 11 seniors from last year’s third-place state team.

“They are a very social bunch, which I love in many ways,” he said, noting nearly his entire roster was competing in the Mr. Eastlake contest the following day. “I encourage them in many ways, but they weren’t focused tonight and that was their problem.”

Focus didn’t show through early, but the Wolves turned up the heat late. Forward Amir Shabeneh broke a scoreless tie in the 68th minute. The senior knocked down a bouncing ball in the box, beat a defender and slid the ball between the legs of Spartan goalkeeper Brian Schwartz.

“Defenders always have trouble tracking a ball like that when it’s in front of them, they’re not going to hit it back to the goalie,” Shabeneh said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to get this’ — then hit it through the five hole on the goalie, right through his legs.”

The score came on the Wolves’ 10th shot attempt of the game. Junior forward Renato Bandeira tacked on an insurance goal in the 76th minute, taking a cross in the middle of the field. He drilled the ball left of Schwartz for his second goal of the season.

Skyline didn’t have any shots on goal in the first half, but got off seven attempts in the second half. The best chance came on a blast off the foot of Ben Molyneux-Elliot. The 40-yard penalty kick looked to be headed into the back of the net, but Eastlake goalkeeper Victor Kollar adjusted at the last second to bat the ball off the crossbar and out of bounds. He made another key save moments later, sprawling out sideways to snag the ball on the ensuing corner kick.

“He’s so improved, it’s unbelievable,” said Gervis, of Kollar. “He’s a confident young man, he’s strong.”

Eastlake improved to 2-0 in KingCo and 2-1 overall with the win. The Wolves played a non-league matchup against Gig Harbor Wednesday night. They are scheduled to host Inglemoor at 7:30 p.m., Friday.

Skyline will search for its first win at 7:30 p.m., Friday at Lake Washington.

Issaquah suffers first loss of season

Issaquah’s three-game win streak came to an end Tuesday night with a 1-0 road loss to Inglemoor. The Eagles, who won their first three games of the year, were unable to muster any offense in the league contest. The Vikings broke onto the scoreboard in the 55th minute on a goal from Bobby Aboulhosn and earned a combined shutout from Matt Sefton and Reid Jacobson. Issaquah (1-1, 3-1), which won only three games all of last year, hosts Garfield at 7:30 p.m. Friday.