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Arlington demolishes Oak Harbor 4-1
ARLINGTON Tilton and Case sounds like the name of a prestigious Seattle law firm, but for the Arlington High School boys soccer team it represents the outstanding one-two midfield combination of John Tilton and AJ Case.
Tilton and Case combined to completely stymie the Oak Harbor attack in their April 13 showdown, Case playing the role of enforcer on defense, Tilton providing the fireworks on offense. The two were too much for Oak Harbor to overcome, and along with some precocious goal scoring by center forward Josh Krieg, Arlington celebrated a dominating 4-1 victory over the visiting Wildcats.
In the fifth minute, Tilton earned Arlington their first corner kick of the evening with a run down the right sideline. The corner kick was struck by Richard Gonzalez and found the left foot of Josh Krieg to open the scoring.
From that point, Arlington played with a freedom not seen in previous matches. Just five minutes later Krieg struck again from a well-placed free kick from Tilton. Positioned on the right flank, Tilton hit a bending ball that swerved six yards in front of the Oak Harbor net. Krieg fought off two defenders to deflect the ball with his body, depositing it once again in the back of the net.
The 2-0 lead only 10 minutes into the game boosted Arlingtons spirits even further. The defending was crisp as Case along with Andrew Henderson kept the Oak Harbor attack from threatening on goal.
The second half played out a little differently than the first. Oak Harbor pressured hard but could not finish anything in front of the Eagles net. The Eagles needed a spark and Cody Nielsen came in for Krieg up front and provided instant energy. In the 53rd minute, yet another Tilton cross found the head of Richard Gonzalez, who flicked it backwards over the outstretched Wildcat goalie and into the back of the net.
The 3-0 lead looked to be in good hands until the 58th minute when a rare Keith Bayer bobble in goal nearly gave Oak Harbor a score. A swinging free kick found Bayer in position to make a catch but due to traffic around the net, the ball squirted off his gloves, landing free only 10 yards in front of net. Oak Harbor had two chances to produce a shot but one player whiffed before the other sent a weak, poorly struck ball well wide of the post.
Finally with eight minutes remaining, Oak Harbor did produce a goal on a well taken strike along the left side of the penalty area. At 3-1 with only minutes remaining, Arlington was firmly in control. But the Eagles werent finished. Tilton struck yet again after breaking away from a pack of Wildcat defenders and taking on the Wildcat goalie one-on-one. His low shot went directly between the wickets of the sliding goalkeeper and into the net, an exclamation point on Tiltons stellar night.
Afterwards Tilton talked about the win.
This is just a great feeling. This is our first home win. I cant even describe how good this feels.
The players doused coach Mike Gudgeon with Gatorade in the final minute.
The team plays again April 19 against Everett.