TROUT LAKE - When a team in any sport is undefeated mid-way through the season, opponents usually find a way to get pumped up for No. 1. It was no different yesterday as Trout Lake-Glenwood hosted the undefeated Sunnyside Christian High School soccer team.
With bulls-eyes on their backs, the SCHS players survived being bloodied first to post a 2-1 win against Trout Lake-Glenwood and improve to 9-0 on the season.
Trout Lake-Glenwood scored first, a minute and a half into the game. The Knights took down a Trout Lake-Glenwood player inside the box, giving Mikael Dick a shot at a penalty kick. Dick made the most of his situation and gave Trout Lake-Glenwood an early 1-0 lead.
It took the Knights until the 36th minute to get the equalizer. Michael DeGroot found an open Hessel Veldhuis, who popped the ball into the left corner of the goal.
"Trout Lake had loaded up on defense," SCHS Coach Tim DeGroot said. "They probably had six or seven guys in the box. That's smart coaching. It's exactly what you're supposed to do, especially when you have the lead."
DeGroot said Trout Lake-Glenwood did a good job of picking up his players but Veldhuis got through unmarked.
In the 58th minute the Knights received a bit of luck to take the lead. On a corner kick by DeGroot, the ball bobbled around inside the box. SCHS's Jesse Brouwer was on hand to pick up the ball and get a foot on it.
"It came from about two yards out, but we'll take it," Coach DeGroot said.
SCHS was able to hold off Trout Lake-Glenwood for the remainder of the game.
Connor Erickson posted six saves as the keeper for the Knights. Steven Bosma recorded a defensive save as well.
The Knights out-shot Trout Lake-Glenwood 23 to 5 in the match. Trout Lake-Glenwood's Kris Wood had 16 saves
"He's a very gifted goalie," DeGroot said.
Despite yesterday's victory, which boosted the Knights to 3-0 in league play, the SCHS coach was worried about his team's performance.
"Trout Lake stepped up and we didn't respond like we should have," he said. "You have to ask, are we improving every game? I'm not ready to say yes or no, but we got some work to do."
DeGroot pointed out the defensive play of Albert den Hoed, saying he had a phenomenal game. DeGroot also pointed out the absence of Danny Van Boven and Sergio Mendoza.
"You don't realize how good Sergio is until you don't have him," DeGroot said. "He's just a gifted player."
The Knights will get Mendoza back for its match with Moses Lake Christian Academy Tuesday, Oct. 9, at 3:30 p.m. in Moses Lake.