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Rivals Ferris, LC on GSL collision course

Tue., April 8, 2014

The battle for South Hill boys soccer supremacy is more than three weeks away, but Ferris and Lewis and Clark are doing their best to ensure that it will mean much more.

The Saxons and Tigers both sit at 3-0 in the Greater Spokane League as they take a week off for spring break, and there’s a lot to like for both teams.

“I’m pretty happy with the team to this point,” said LC coach Mica Lamb, whose Tigers (5-2-1 overall) opened the GSL season with a 2-1 win over preseason favorite Central Valley.  

Lamb cited his back line of veterans Ben Thompson and Ben Blakely, together with sophomores Jack Bryant and Charlie Rieger, with helping the Tigers outscore CV, Gonzaga Prep and Shadle Park by a combined 10-2 going into spring break.

Meanwhile, new goalkeeper Jacob Williams hasn’t been tested, but has made some stellar saves when called upon, Lamb said.

Up front, the Tigers have goals from eight different players, and Lamb said he likes his team’s ability to build an attack.

Up next for the Tigers is Mead (2-3 overall, 2-1 in GSL).

Meanwhile, defending GSL champ Ferris (7-0) has blasted Rogers, University and North Central by a combined 18-1 in goals, but longtime coach Robin Crain said he’ll learn more about his team next week.

That’s when the Saxons visit Central Valley for a match under the lights that could go far in deciding the league title.

“We have a lot of tough games left,” said Crain, rattling off the teams left on the schedule.

For now, though, Crain said, “We’ve asked the players to do some things and they’ve responded very quickly.

“They’re playing very well early, and sometimes that takes time,” said Crain, who has 11 seniors in his lineup.

So far in league play, the Saxons are profiting from a balanced attack. Terry Cox has five goals in GSL play, while Matt Beaulaurier, Connor Ourada and Andrew Hollenbaugh have two apiece.

Saxons keeper Filipp Churkin has been forced into making just 10 saves in three GSL matches.

Great Northern League: So much for the need to rebuild at Cheney, which won the State 2A championship last year but returned only five starters.

After stumbling through a 4-0 loss to Ferris, and tying LC 2-2, the Blackhawks have thoroughly dominated the first half of GNL play.

The top-ranked Blackhawks (7-1-1 overall, 6-0 in the GNL) have outscored league opponents by a staggering 27-1, while forward Ian Schimandle has 11 goals and Trevan Estrellado has nine.

However, Cheney was tested in its last outing, Thursday in Pullman. The 10th-ranked Greyhounds went ahead 1-0 on a goal by Moritz Lange in the ninth minute before Estrellado got the equalizer four minutes later.

The match was still tied with 10 minutes left when Estrellado scored again. Micah Weller added an insurance goal in the 79th minute of the 3-1 win.

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