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Arlington too quick for Everett
ARLINGTON The Arlington soccer team made a strong statement April 19 against Everett, winning 2-1 and outclassing the visiting Seagulls.
The Eagles were quicker to every 50/50 ball, stronger on defense, more dominant in the midfield and exerted more pressure on offense. Goalkeeper Keith Bayer was rarely tested and only one last-minute goal by Everett prevented Arlington from a clean-sheet shutout.
The game started well for Arlington. In the eighth minute, Juan Guadarrama missed just over the bar on a header in front of the Everett net.
Nine minutes later, AJ Case emerged with the ball at his feet from a pack of players 18 yards from goal. Case struck a shot that sailed inches wide of the post, allowing Everett to again escape unharmed.
Most of the first half the ball stayed in the midfield for both teams. Arlington typically controlled the game, but could not put anything in the back of the net for their effort. Just moments before halftime, an excellent turn along the left wing by Guadarrama gave him the opportunity for a clean cross.
Guadarrama beat the defense and dribbled into the edge of the penalty area where he hit a low, hard ball across the goal mouth. A sliding Richard Gonzalez could not convert in front of an open net as the ball skittered just beyond his foot. That would be Arlingtons last chance of the half.
The second half opened with a bang for Arlington. In the 41st minute, a Case free kick from 35 yards gave the Everett goalkeeper trouble. His bobble landed at the foot of a surprised Andrew Henderson who hammered it back at the net. Unfortunately for Henderson, his shot hit the goalkeeper square in the chest. The shot again could not be corralled or cleared by Everett and an alert Skyler Furrer zoomed in behind the play to clean up the mess. He booted home the second rebound as bodies flew everywhere in front of the net. The confusion caused even the referee to pause before signaling the games first goal.
The pace of the game picked up from there, as Josh Krieg broke through in the 52nd minute for a goal, only to be whistled offside by the linesman. Krieg again nearly capitalized minutes later on a John Tilton cross, sliding through as the ball eluded him by inches.
The relentless AHS pressure paid off again in the 71st minute as Juan Guadarrama took a pass from Richard Gonzalez, kept his balance under intense defensive pressure, shouldered his way past the defender, and drove a liner into the back of Everetts goal. Leading 2-0 just nine minutes from time, the game appeared in the bag for Arlington. But Everett did not go quietly into the night. Three minutes later, Everetts left forward drew a penalty kick in the area, a shot that was promptly saved by Keith Bayer, preserving the lead. That stop proved to be crucial as Everett struck a bending ball from 20 yards out and scored just minutes later to close the gap to 2-1.
In the closing moments of the game Everett pushed hard for an equalizer, but Arlingtons defense held them off. The back four for Arlington deserved much of the credit for the win as Mike Huston, Robert ODay, Mike Baxter and James Chestnutt consistently stunted the Everett attack all evening, winning nearly every challenge in the back third of the field.
After the game, Huston talked about the victory.
We played well enough to win, and we pulled it out in the second half. The defense pulled together and played our hardest.
Arlington continues to improve as the season goes along. They play again April 27 versus Monroe.