Midway through the second half, one wondered if this could be the night. The score was 0-0 and the Falcons were being truly competitive. Just one great play here or lucky break there could turn the tide. And Woodinville’s relief and happiness would be immense.
Instead, it proved to be the same old song. Newport’s Ayan Gowrishankar scored a goal in the 59th minute to give his Knights a 1-0 lead. And with that came all the momentum. When time ran out, the visitors from Bellevue had prevailed over Woodinville 3-1.
“We are in a tough league, every other team is as talented or more talented than we are,” Woodinville coach Jimmy Holladay said. “We did everything right for 70 minutes, worked hard, had a couple mental errors. But we played a good game. In fact the last three games have been great. We’re about to break through. I’m proud of our guys.”
The loss rendered Woodinville with an 0-9 record in KingCo 4A, and 1-10 overall. The Falcons have been shut out in six league games this year. A difficult stretch to be sure.
But the players have continued to give effort and there’s no evidence of finger-pointing or in-fighting.
“These guys have bought in since day one,” Holladay said. “They know that KingCo is tough and they’re inexperienced. But long term we are set up well for success. That bodes well. We took our young core and threw them out there early in the season. ... It’s a matter of getting used to each other and being positive. We’re going to break through.”
Holladay was asked to single out some players who have progressed this season.
“Jake Kim has played great,” Holladay said. “Unfortunately he’s a senior this year. We moved him back to right outside back, a defensive position. He’s been awesome. James Nicholas in the middle has been great. Scott Sutherland, who wasn’t here tonight, has been playing fantastic too. Gavin Eisenbarth is a freshman who has held his own against seniors [on opposing teams]. Wyatt Morris has been really good in the middle. A short guy, can’t always see him in there. Torin [Frever] up top has been great.”
Holladay winced when was asked about the winless league record. But he remained upbeat in his response.
“If you’re win-centric, you see that we’re 0-9 and you’re not happy,” he said. “But if you’re more positive, not rah-rah, but [being a] more realistic person, you see the improvement and cohesion and the maturing of the team.
“All credit goes to the kids for working so hard and maintaining the message we’re trying to get through,” Holladay said.
The Falcons have five games remaining on their regular season schedule. This Tuesday they play Inglemoor at Pop Keeney Stadium, before traveling on Friday to play at Skyline.