It was a tough way to open up conference play. Inside rain-splashed Pop Keeney Stadium, the Woodinville Falcons quickly fell behind and never recovered. The end result was a 4-0 loss to Eastlake, which spoiled the KingCo debut of Woodinville’s first-year coach Jimmy Holladay.
“We need to get physically and mentally stronger,” Holladay said. “When [Eastlake] got that first goal we were shell shocked a little bit. Then they got a second goal about four to five minutes after that. And being down 2-0 in soccer is like being down 10-0 in a football game. It’s doable to come back from that. Learning that is part of the growth process.”
With the loss, Woodinville fell to 0-1 in KingCo 4A, and 1-2 overall. The Falcons have been outscored 7-0 in their past two games.
“Our team still needs to come together more, as for chemistry,” senior Jake Kim said. “We have a lot of good players on our team, we just have to work together. I believe in our team completely. It’s only the first game, I’m not rattled at all.”
The match proved physical. Members of each squad got knocked to the saturated turf. This kept trainer Aaron Libolt busy, as he aided multiple Falcon players to their feet before escorting them to the bench.
In the game’s final minutes, several Eastlake players angrily appealed to the referees.
“It got physical and chippy at the end there,” Holladay said. “I was proud of our boys, they held their cool. It was weird seeing a team up 4-0 losing their cool. But Eastlake’s a good squad, so I’m not going to complain too much. They’re a good team.”
As Holladay began to discuss his own soccer background, his young son Parker fidgeted quietly by his side.
Holladay described multiple coaching stops over the past dozen years. This includes time as the head coach for the Juanita girls team and the boys and girls teams at Anacortes. He said he was happy to be in Woodinville.
“Cathy Boyce, the athletic director, has been great,” Holladay said. “And Terry Agnew, who has been filling in for Cathy while she’s on maternity leave, has been awesome. The administration has been nothing but supportive. I think we know what we have and we’re close. I’ve been brought in to make sure that the dream and plan that I put forward with them is going to happen. We’re on the right path. We’re young and it’s fun to watch. They’re growing.”
Holladay also spoke of his new players.
“We’ve got a great group of kids,” Holladay said. “Their commitment to want to be good soccer players and to be a good team is refreshing. Our end goal is to make Woodinville proud. We have a great history in soccer, both men’s and women’s. The men’s team is aching to put up a couple [championship] banners to compete with the women’s team.”