By Ian Ferguson
The Blaine boys soccer team kicked off the season with a 4–0 win against Mount Baker at Pipeline Field on March 17.
“The team came out with high energy and kept the intensity up the whole game,” said Blaine head coach Giovanni Quesada. “For the first game of the season, I was impressed with the teamwork and skill they showed.”
Zack Oakley scored Blaine’s first goal 22 minutes into the game. After a give-and-go pass from teammate Alieu Diaw, Oakley brought the ball into the left corner, dribbled through multiple defenders and ripped a shot from the six that hit the far post and bounced in.
Freshman Diaw scored the second goal, heading it past the goalkeeper off a right-side corner kick from Kyle Sentkowski in the 39th minute.
“He had great positioning to get the header off a nice corner kick from Kyle,” Quesada said.
Oakley scored again in the 68th minute, shooting on the run from way outside the 18 to send an untouchable shot into the upper-right corner of the net.
Konner Van Rijswijck scored Blaine’s final goal in the 70th minute on a free kick from just outside the 18, rifling his shot into the left side of the goal.
Tristan Soto made five saves playing goalkeeper for Blaine, but three of those shots weren’t on target.
By and large, Blaine’s defense did a great job maintaining possession and preventing shots on goal.
Quesada said he was happy with every aspect of the team’s play for their season opener, especially given the team is relatively young.
“We lost a lot of seniors last year, and we have a lot of young guys. I call this, ‘The Green Team.’ For being the first game of the season, the guys played very well. The older players supported the new guys, constantly pushing and keeping up the intensity. The passing was very good, and they understand my philosophy of teamwork,” Quesada said.
Nearly 50 players tried out for soccer this season, with 20 making it onto the varsity team.
Quesada said for the first time ever Blaine has the makings of three teams, a varsity, JV and C-Team, to encourage the development of younger players.
“The support from the high school for the soccer program has been really great. It’s exciting for a coach to see so many kids wanting to play,” Quesada said.
The Borderites’ next game is at home against Meridian on Thursday, March 19. The game begins at 4:30 p.m.