Kickers rebound after win slips away

JV soccer player Bhanus Chaudhary nudges the ball past the Lakeside keeper for the Spartans’ first goal in a 5-1 rout Thursday afternoon. The JV team ran its record to 7-0 with the win. - DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo
JV soccer player Bhanus Chaudhary nudges the ball past the Lakeside keeper for the Spartans’ first goal in a 5-1 rout Thursday afternoon. The JV team ran its record to 7-0 with the win.
— image credit: DOUGLAS CRIST/Staff Photo

Goalkeeper Alex Bolt faced 11 shots, earning the shutout for BHS.

Stalled by a late, two-goal Lakeside comeback that ended in a 2-2 tie, the Spartan boys got back up on the horse Thursday at Nathan Hale.

Facing a high-octane foe on fast field turf, the Spartans rode past the Raiders for a 3-0 win on the strength of speed, fast-paced midfield and forward play and steady goalkeeping.

“This is a competitive group,” coach Anh Tran said. “I knew if we just rolled a ball out and blew the whistle, they would respond. I’m especially pleased they did so with the conviction shown here.”

Sweeper Zach Conner fed midfielder Dylan Tucker-Gangnes in the 22nd minute for a 1-0 lead.

Tucker-Gangnes chipped a pass to forward Amine Ramadan who converted in the 51st minute, while brother Zach found Tyler Church who slotted inside the left post in the 72nd.

“It was a very fast field,” Tran said. “It took awhile to find our rhythm on the surface. Then watch out.”

Goalkeeper Alex Bolt earned the shutout while facing 11 shots, mostly from beyond the penalty area.

“Bolt had a great game,” Tran said. “He made several key saves that took away any charge they had.”

He was helped in shutting down the Raiders by a tight, coordinated defense, anchored by Francis Waplinger and Will O’Donnell who flanked sweeper Conner in the middle.

It was a good comeback for the Spartans, after the disappointment of two days earlier. They could not hold onto a 2-0 lead, surrendering a 2-2 tie with visiting Lakeside to open league play.

“I told my guys in the post game huddle, not to be ashamed of the game,” Tran said, taking the high road after the tying goal came in injury time with a Lion forward draped over the Spartan goalkeeper.

While the Spartans looked for a foul and offsides call, the officials declined.

Jesse Burk-Rafel earned a goal or assisted for the fourth consecutive game in the 34th minute, rushing the middle and then laying off to Mallove.

His teammate ran onto the perfect pass and knifed the ball into the back of the Lakeside net for an early 1-0 lead.

Moments later, Tucker-Gangnes restarted a free kick from deep in the corner to the near post. Ramadan timed a perfect run to head a glancing ball past Lakeside’s starting netminder and the 2-0 lead.

Even with the tie, the Spartans claimed their first point in Metro League play with the draw, with plenty of other positives:

• They are undefeated and building an offensive style on a defense that led the league in the 2004 campaign.

• They’ve already eclipsed last year’s goal total, scoring 12 in five games.

• Their defense and midfield has shown flashes of brilliance with a minimum of breakdowns.

Bainbridge, second in the Mountain Division with a 3-0-2 overall record (1-0-1 Metro), next face the Rams at Ingraham April 5 before returning home to host West Seattle 5:30 p.m. April 8.

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