A small, but boisterous group of fans chanted ‘three-peat’ as the Skyline girls soccer team walked to the sideline Tuesday after defeating Newport 2-0 to start the KingCo 4A season.
While flattering, it’s not something Spartan head coach Don Braman wants to hear just six games into the season.
“I don’t want to hear that at all,” he said, smiling. “We’re just excited to get our first win in league play and get things going in the right direction.”
That said, the two-time defending 4A state champions couldn’t have gotten off to a better start in 2010. Tuesday’s win marked their sixth consecutive victory, and sixth straight shutout.
“Defensively, we look at it as a team concept,” Braman said, noting the success starts with his forwards working hard up front and the play at midfield.
Along with one of the top goalkeepers in the state, Tina Vargas, the back line is loaded with talent.
“I’ve got six or more players who are really good defenders so it’s a matter of how they mesh and how they gel, and what kind of formation we need to beat whoever we’re playing,” Braman said.
The mix-and-match effect worked again Tuesday as the Spartans held the Knights to just three shots — and no real solid looks.
Skyline, which has now outscored opponents 17-0, also continued to find success on the offensive side of the ball.
The Spartans struck in the 4th minute when senior forward Michelle Bretl skipped a cross from the left side of the field to the right corner of the goal box. Junior midfielder Alexa Strom came running behind the play and drilled the ball into the back of the net.
Strom became the 10th Spartan to score this season.
“We’ve just really bonded well as a team and we all get along, so it’s easy to give each other the goals and glory,” said junior midfielder Nicole Candioglos, who headed in her third goal of the season in the 55th minute.
The second goal was set up by sophomore forward Rachel Shim, who took a throw-in down the sideline, then lifted the ball to the center of the box with her left foot. Candioglos came flying in with a header, placing the ball in the top left corner of the net.
“That’s as high quality as a header you’re going to see,” Braman said.
The Spartans (1-0, 6-0) take a week off before their next game Tuesday, Sept. 28 at Inglemoor.
“I’m just so excited, and I can’t wait to play the rest of the season’s games,” Candioglos said.
Issaquah blanks Inglemoor
Issaquah started its KingCo 4A campaign off Tuesday with a 1-0 road victory over Inglemoor.
Deanna Dakar recored the Eagles’ lone goal in the 50th minute via an assist from Audrey Thomas.
Goalkeeper Brooke Miller earned the shutout for Issaquah (1-0, 6-1).
Eastlake hangs on to beat Ballard
Eastlake scored five first-half goals Tuesday and held on to beat Ballard 5-4 in its KingCo 4A opener.
Forward Jaclyn Softli recorded a hat trick for the Wolves, scoring goals in the 11th, 25th and 33rd minutes. Abby Frenkel added a goal in the 24th minute, while Ballard recorded an own-goal.
The Beavers, who trailed 5-2 at the half, scored goals in the 56th and 59th minutes, but that’s where their rally ended.
Bainbridge downs Eastside Catholic
Bainbridge scored two second-half goals Tuesday and held on to beat Eastside Catholic 2-1.
Rosie Kerstetter scored in the 55th minute and Emma Vukic scored in the 65th to give the Spartans a 2-0 lead.
The Crusaders’ Lauren Breynaert scored on a shot from 20 yards out in the 72nd minute.