A wind advisory in effect for the Puget Sound region didn’t halt Friday’s rivalry boys soccer contest between the Bothell Cougars and the Inglemoor Vikings. But the strong winds may have had a role in how the event transpired.
Behind second-half goals from midfielder Cole Baker and forward Santiago Rangel, Bothell pulled away to defeat Inglemoor 2-0 in their KingCo 4A matchup Friday night at Pop Keeney Stadium. The victory was the sixth-straight for the first-place Cougars (6-1-2, 6-0-1 in KingCo).
Bothell coach Shaun Warner said he was expecting the weather to be a factor in Friday’s game. The Cougars had the wind at their backs during the second half after a scoreless first half of play. He said the wind helped his team, but added it wasn’t the only difference he saw from his players during the contest’s final stretch.
“We just played with a little more composure,” Warner said. “I think it took us a half to get used to the type of physicality this game was gonna bring and the way that it was officiated. I thought it was fairly officiated, but it was a physical game, so it took us awhile to get used to it. Once we did, I think we knocked the ball around really well.”
Playing with the wind behind them in the first half, the Vikings (5-3-0, 4-3-0) looked to be the aggressors early on. Inglemoor outshot Bothell 6-2 and fired two shots on goal in the opening half, though none found the back of the net. Inglemoor continued its aggressive attack in the opening minutes of the second half, drawing corner-kick opportunities in the 48th and 52nd minutes.
But the Cougars were not deterred and responded in the 54th minute. Following a throw-in, Baker made a move past his defender toward the middle of the field, firing and scoring from just over 20 yards out.
“We knew it was gonna be a really tough game, but I felt like we had the better team. So if we just worked hard and did our part, then we’d win,” Baker said.
Inglemoor continued its attack, firing four more shots at Bothell keeper Justin Grubb. On a corner kick in the 77th minute, the Vikings nearly struck with an equalizer, though saw a header in front of the goal sail just over the crossbar.
A couple minutes later, Rangel provided the Cougars with the added insurance, getting past Inglemoor keeper Caleb Travis to score the game’s final goal off an assist from Baker.
Following his team’s sixth straight win, Warner said maintaining Bothell’s current successful run would be no easy task, but the Cougars will look to do so by continuing to improve.
“Our team stands for three things: family, to compete and to play with discipline. We judge [players] each day on just getting better every day, so we don’t really think about the wins and losses,” Warner said. “Every day we take is an opportunity to get better, and so the second time around playing teams, we just hope we play a little bit better than we did the first time.”
Inglemoor coach Kevin McGibbon called Friday’s rivalry contest “a good, hard game” and credited both teams for their play. He said his team had its chances but after falling behind in the second half, the Vikings simply found themselves “chasing the game” late with the wind against them.
“The great thing about our kids is that they still play hard. They don’t stop playing hard, they bounce back,” McGibbon said. “Even down 2-0, we’re still going and playing hard. We will bounce back and we do bounce back. Being resilient is one of our values.”