Class 1A Mount Baker showed its ability to compete with the Northwest Conference’s top four boys’ soccer teams was no fluke.
Wylie Suda turned in his first two-goal game in high school and ninth grade standouts Freddy Delgado and Gage Corcorcan scored their second goals of the season, coach Jason Jorgensen noted with pleasure, as Baker held off Sultan 4-3 in the 1A Northwest District semifinals on Wednesday, May 4.
Both freshmen had goals by the 10-minute mark for a 2-0 lead. Delgado hustled to power home a rebound four minutes into the game and Andrea Santellini, one of only two starting seniors Wednesday, nicely assisted on Corcorcan’s score.
Suda scored on an alert drive off Delgado’s fine long pass in the 26th minute for a 3-1 advantage. Seven minutes later, Casey McHugh logged his 13th assist to help Suda strike with a header for a 4-1 lead.
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“I did exactly what I wanted on my first goal but on the second, I was just in the right place,” said Suda, a midfielder who now has six goals.
WHAT IT MEANS
Jorgensen, in his 11th season, saw what he calls his “most well-balanced team” earn both a bi-district berth and his first tourney title spot. The Mountaineers (9-8) will face King’s or South Whidbey for the district title Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m. at Whatcom Community College.
Sultan (9-8-1) will face Lynden Christian in a loser-out game on the same pitch at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Jorgensen’s squad is so competitive that even though Baker went 0-4 against Class 2A Sehome, Anacortes, Squalicum and Bellingham, the combined score was 11-6, including three one-goal losses.
Sultan scored three goals — by Tyler Rouss in the 20th minute, on a classic midfield power shot by Eman Vallejo-Munoz in the 50th minute and on a drive by Jose Carranza in the 64th minute — but Baker’s junior keeper, Sergey Fandalyuk, came up big. He made seven saves, with five under pressure late in the fray.
Baker outshot Sultan 25-13 in the wild game, with Turks keeper Dawson Sonstad logging 14 saves.
“This is a good all-round (young) group, with everybody on the same page,” said Jorgensen, who credited freshman Clover Martin and fellow defender Vadim Kotsyuba with exceptional efforts. “And all the guys have a strong work rate.”
Starters Talyn Donk, Jesus Torrero and Jon Ehlers also helped hold the Turks to one first-half goal. Sultan’s two second-half scores were both exceptional plays.