Kickers work hard for a draw

Francis Waplinger shoots on the Lakeside goalie. - DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo
Francis Waplinger shoots on the Lakeside goalie.
— image credit: DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo

Spartans do well against O’Dea, Lakeside even with missing players.

Some soccer coaches might not be happy with two ties in one week.

But Bainbridge head boys soccer coach Anh Tran will take it – especially if one of those ties comes against one of the top 3A teams in the state in Lakeside.

“It was like boys versus men,” he said. “They’re very big, very aggressive and our guys were a little timid, but at times they looked very good.”

It was good enough to come away with a 1-1 tie against O’Dea on Tuesday, then a battle to a 0-0 deadlock against the Lions on Thursday to stay undefeated at home.

With Bainbridge missing Will O’Donnell and Zach Conner – both of whom are away with their select teams – the Spartans had only two subs for the game, one of whom was freshman Sam McCallister.

After a scoreless first half in which Lakeside kept the ball in Bainbridge’s end but couldn’t capitalize, it was more of the same in the second half.

Lakeside’s Luke Hussey had a nice look at a header off a cross pass but couldn’t connect.

But Bainbridge had a few opportunities as well, when Francis Waplinger made a great corner kick only to have Lucas Pearl miss on an open look.

The Lions continued to put pressure on the Spartan defense, but goalie Alex Bolt and the defense did their part to stop them from scoring. Dylan Tucker-Gagnes made some nice plays on Lakeside corner kicks when the ball got by Bolt.

At the 69th minute, the Lions nearly caught a break when Bolt got tangled up with a Lakeside player. After the refs had a conference, they gave Bolt a yellow card, sending him out for a play.

“I don’t see that too often,” he said.

The Lions couldn’t convert on the corner kick thanks to a foul and didn’t get many scoring opportunities after that.

Bainbridge had a good chance in the last few minutes, but Tyler Church and Elijah Dstefano couldn’t connect.

Tran felt the defense was “really shaky,” but they didn’t need to make it look pretty.

“They really get the job done,” he said. “When I look back at it, I’m like, ‘Good grief, it’s the Bad News Bears,’ but they get the job done.”

Against O’Dea, the Fighting Irish scored first, but Waplinger put one in at the 16th minute on a Dana Olsen assist in a game that Bainbridge dominated, but couldn’t score in.

Still, with much of the league schedule ahead, Bolt likes how he and the team have done in the early portion, especially by improving their passing skills.

“O’Dea and Lakeside are really good teams,” he said. “But we’re stepping up so far this season.”

Bainbridge plays at 6 p.m. today against West Seattle, then hosts Ingraham at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday.

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