Sports

Stanwood outruns Arlington

Eagles senior forward Jake Smith connects on a header to bring the ball down to his feet. - Travis Sherer
Eagles senior forward Jake Smith connects on a header to bring the ball down to his feet.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

Quick goals spell doom for Eagles

ARLINGTON — In a Wesco North rivalry match, the Eagles just couldn’t keep up with the Spartans of Stanwood.

Speed was the issue of the match in Arlington’s 4-1 loss at home March 31.

“With their speed, we weren’t able to counteract that on defense,” said Eagles manager Michael Gudgeon.

But Stanwood’s speed wasn’t the sort that was evident from kickoff, it took a while to notice with the Spartans tight playing style, keeping both ends less than 45 yards apart most of the time and bursting forth when the opportunity arose.

“They got very compact and then would squeak a couple of guys in on runs from the far side,” Gudgeon said.

Although none of that was evident by the time Stanwood scored its first goal, which was just three minutes into the match. It came off the boot of Brandon Schlagel’s volley 10 yards out from a corner kick.

The 1-0 lead lasted through halftime, despite a handful of opportunities with broken down defenses for both sides.

Arlington scored the equalizer in the 51st minute off a penalty kick from senior Jake Smith. The penalty opportunity stemmed from a handball inside the penalty box. Smith finished near the left post.

The celebration was brief, however, as Stanwood scored less than a minute later on a breakaway by James Postma with a defender on his hip.

“It’s a huge, demoralizing thing to be scored on like that,” Gudgeon said of Stanwood’s first two goals. “With guys coming back from injury and spring break, we can hopefully refocus and not give up those quick goals.”

Stanwood added goals in the 65th (Brandon Schlagel) and 78th (Mickey Brown) minutes.

Standing out to Gudgeon was the play of Smith, and midfielders David Lopez and Kevin Grogmann.

“They worked really well together to hold possession for us,” he said.

Also, junior midfielder Issac Ladines showed commendable skill in the air, using his height and leaping ability to clean up any header.

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