MOSES LAKE - Imagine the surprise and the looks on the faces of the powerful Moses Lake Christian boys soccer team yesterday afternoon when they found themselves in a 1-0 hole just five minutes into the game against lowly Sunnyside Christian.
To the shock of the unbeaten and Central Washington 'B' League leading Moses Lake Christian club (8-0), Sunnyside Christian senior Jordan Haak headed in a corner kick from his cousin, junior Matt Haak, for a goal to give the underdog Knights an early 1-0 lead.
"You start to think some pretty exciting things when you're ahead of Moses Lake just five minutes into the game," said Russ Smies, who's in his first year of coaching the Knights but is still looking for his first conference victory.
The early shock Moses Lake Christian experienced quickly wore off, though.
"They went on a tear against us," said Smies.
Three minutes after the Haak cousins combined their efforts to put Sunnyside Christian ahead, the home team struck with a goal off the foot of Brendon McCornack. Moses Lake Christian then rattled off four more goals in the next 15 minutes to forge a 5-1 advantage. McCornack added a second goal in that four-goal run, with Jesse Bassett providing the other three.
Another goal just before intermission from Phillip Friehe put Moses Lake up 6-1 at the half.
"They were ripping right through the middle," Smies said of the well oiled machine his Knights went up against yesterday.
"They pass the ball extremely well, they make precision cuts...they're very intense.
"It's obvious Moses Lake puts a lot of work into it. They're an amazing team. That's why they're leading the league," Smies added.
The second half was a slightly different story. Moses Lake Christian could only find the net one more time, mostly to the stepped up play displayed by the visiting Knights.
"They subbed a bit towards the end of the game," said Smies, "But we definitely turned it up in the second half."
Smies credits the Haak cousins for most of the increased intensity after intermission.
"The two of them were working very well together in the second half," he said. "They had some very nice give-and-gos," he added.
The sparkling teamwork paid off for the Knights in the 15th minute of the second period. The older Haak swept in a pass from senior Micah Koopmans, sped down the field while juking a couple of defenders and cleanly booted in a goal to cut Moses Lake's lead to 6-2.
Moses Lake's John Townsend countered the score in the 68th minute of the game with a goal of his own to account for the final 7-2 score.
Sunnyside Christian actually had a couple of golden opportunities to cut into Moses Lake's lead even more. Unfortunately for the visitors, two wide open shots taken by the younger Haak careened off the top bar of the Moses Lake goalpost.
"After awhile, you kind of scratch your head and wonder when the shots are going to start going in the net for you," Smies said. "It gets to be frustrating after awhile."
All in all Tuesday afternoon, Moses Lake Christian only outshot the Knights by a 13 to 9 margin. Sunnyside goalkeeper John Bosma was credited with six saves.
The Knights (0-8, 5-10), who have already been eliminated from the postseason, close out the season this coming Friday at home against Trout Lake.