In a matchup between two upper echelon Class 4A KingCo league soccer teams, the Issaquah Eagles reigned supreme against the Inglemoor Vikings.
The Eagles survived a late Vikings rally, earning a 3-2 win on April 1 at Gary Moore Field in Issaquah. Issaquah remained unbeaten improving to 4-0-1 while Inglemoor dropped to 3-2-1. Inglemoor cut Issaquah’s lead to 3-2 with 13 minutes left in regulation when midfielder Shay Sheller found the back of the net.
The Eagles didn’t panic.
In the final 13 minutes of play Issaquah unleashed two shots on goal en route to their fourth victory of the 2016 season. Issaquah head coach Kyle Tatro said his squad had no plans of playing conservatively down the stretch despite leading by just one goal.
“You feel like if you try to protect your lead too early that you end up giving your opponent too much of the field. There is a reason why you are up and you got to continue doing what you’re doing,” Tatro said. “If you pack it in too early then it opens you up and exposes you.”
Issaquah took an early 1-0 lead on a Brandon Lee goal in the fourth minute. Inglemoor’s Jesus Ocampo tied the game at 1-1 on a goal in the fifth minute of play. The Eagles extended their lead to 2-1 on a Jack MacDonald score (23rd minute) and to 3-1 on a Issac Chai goal (62nd minute). Chai’s proverbial insurance goal with 18 minutes remaining made all the difference in the world considering Inglemoor cut the deficit to 3-2 with 13 minutes to go in regulation.
“That was huge. That took some of the pressure off and it built confidence going against a great team like Inglemoor,” Tatro said of Chai’s goal. “It was a great goal. He is always capable of doing something like that in every game so it is good when he does.”
Chai said he wanted to redeem himself after struggling in the first half.
“I saw the ball rolling toward me and I knew I had to take that chance so I just took the touch and just smashed it,” Chai said of Issaquah’s third goal of the night. “It was just anger because I was doing so bad in the first half. It was the most exciting moment I have had this season so far.”
Inglemoor head coach Kevin McGibbon wasn’t discouraged in the least bit following his postgame speech with his players.
“They (Issaquah) finished a couple of chances and we didn’t. It was a great game. Issaquah is going to be one of the teams at the top. If we keep playing the way we did today we will too,” McGibbon said. “I’m encouraged. We will continue to get better.”
Tatro couldn’t be happier with the how season has progressed at this early juncture of the 2016 season.
“We are trying to be one body striving toward one goal. That is really what we preach every day at practice and in every game. However it gets done, that is how we want to get it done,” he said.