Getting defensive: Kentwood blanks FWay

When the boys soccer season started, the Kentwood Conquerors were considered just one of the teams in the chase.

  • BY Wire Service
  • Monday, June 2, 2008 12:21pm
  • Sports

When the boys soccer season started, the Kentwood Conquerors were considered just one of the teams in the chase.

Now, the Conquerors are the ones being chased.

“We knew it was up for grabs. We knew we had some strong seniors back, and everyone else was ready to step it up this year,” said senior midfielder Matt Eronemo, who picked up another assist on Wednesday night as Kentwood remained atop the South Puget Sound League North Division by shutting out Federal Way, 2-0.

“The last three years, our weakness has been chemistry,” added senior forward Danny Brill, who scored the Conquerors’ first goal, giving him a team-leading five for the season. “At the start of the year, we said, ‘These are our goals and this is what we want to accomplish.’ And we talked about chemistry. And right from the get-go, everyone is getting along real well.”

Kentwood is 6-1-0 with 18 points in league play. That’s four points ahead of Jefferson (4-1-2 with 14 points), which was regarded as the favorite for the division title.

The Conquerors and Raiders have yet to meet. Their game on March 28 at Federal Way Stadium was postponed because of snow. It is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, April 19, and would be followed immediately by a rematch on April 22 at Kentwood.

“We have two games that we have to win before we play those two,” Brill said of Kentwood’s upcoming league contests against Kent-Meridian on Tuesday and at home against Decatur next Friday. “Then we’ll get ready for TJ.”

Federal Way (2-4-2, 8 points) was last year’s Class 4A state runner-up, but lost most of its goal-scoring production. That was evident last Wednesday as the Conquerors had a 28-7 advantage in shots. The Eagles’ first shot of the game didn’t come until midway through the 20th minute, and they went the first 31-plus minutes of the second half without getting off a shot.

All eight of Kentwood’s victories (including a pair of nonleaguers) have been shutouts, six of those belonging goalkeeper Mitch Pombrio. (One was shared between Pombrio and Rodney Greiling, and Greiling was in the net all the way in a 2-0 nonleague win against Emerald Ridge).

“Our focus is team defense first. That’s going to win games,” Eronemo said.

Brill put Kentwood on the board at the 28:03 mark. Michael Fuller sent a target ball toward the right side of the penalty area. Brill caught up to it, juked his way around Federal Way defender Omar Cruz, and blasted a shot toward the back left corner.

Eric Alonzo added an insurance goal at 61:23. A free kick taken by Eronemo on the right wing side crossed all the way over to the other side. It deflected off a couple of players and bounced right at the feet of Alonzo stationed just inside the upper left corner of the box. He launched it on the half-volley, and it sailed high into the upper right corner.

ALSO: Roberto Morales scored in the final minute, lifting Kentlake into a 1-1 tie against Tahoma in an SPSL North game on Wednesday. The Bears (2-2-4, 10 points) went up 1-0 in the 66th minute on an unassisted goal by Brad Hwang. Daniel Landram set up the equalizer by Morales. The Falcons are 4-2-2 with 14 points, tied with Jefferson for second place.

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