ELMA — A lopsided affair was not without a bit of drama at Davis Field on Friday night in this season’s second edition of the East County rivalry game.
Elma scored three goals in the second half and cruised to a 4-1 victory over Montesano in an Evergreen 1A League boys’ soccer match. A late-match red card, however, turned up the drama just before the final whistle.
In the 54th minute, Elma’s Trevor Hann received a pass from Steven Percell and kicked the ball into the right side of the goal past a diving Brett Cooper, giving the Eagles a 2-0 lead.
Hann struck again in the 58th minute, placing the ball into the left side of the net, once again past a diving Cooper. This time a beautiful feed from Dennis Andres assisted the goal, giving Hann his second goal of the match and Elma a commanding 3-0 lead.
“The goals we got in the second half came off of nicely threaded balls,” Elma head coach Carson Seaberg said. “We got the ball down to people’s feet, connected on a lot more passes, and we were able to control the ball, and play the game more the way we wanted to.”
“I think that after they scored their second goal, part of my guys quit playing,” Montesano head coach Jeff Lenherr said. “About half of them competed well, and the other half didn’t. You’ve got to compete. You’ve got to want it.”
The match took an interesting turn in the 72nd minute when Donavon Beiker scored a goal off a set piece on a direct free kick to cap the scoring. The ball went into the top-right corner of the goal and Cooper ran into the goal post while trying to save the shot. Cooper did not get up right away, and after talking with his coaches, left the game.
As he neared the sideline, Cooper made an obscene gesture toward the crowd in response to some taunting from the grandstands. The goalkeeper was issued a red card for the incident and may miss the next couple of games for it.
“I was disappointed by the reaction of the player,” Lehnerr said of Cooper.
The last time these two teams met, Cooper was involved in an incident in which Elma’s Cory March suffered a season-ending leg injury. After that game, Seaberg agreed that the injury was “a pretty common way for a striker to get hurt,” and went on to say, “Unfortunately, that happens sometimes.”
“It’s a two-game issue,” Seaberg said after Friday’s game. “Right or wrong, our player got injured down in Montesano. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to set it off. I don’t think the physicality of the game played a part in it. We have played more physical games with these guys.”
“It’s just frustration that builds up,” Lenherr said. “I didn’t think this was a really aggressive game. It was OK.”
In addition to contributing a goal, Beiker was cited by Seaberg for his play on defense. The freshman center defender showcased his impressive range and strong leg in the match.
“I didn’t think anything special, because it’s what he’s been doing for the last couple of weeks,” Seaberg said. “You start taking stuff for granted. It’s starting to become what we expect from him. He’s a smart player, and he does a great job back there. He cleans up a lot of the mistakes that the other guys make, but he also allows the other guys to be much more aggressive because they know that if they step forward and get beat he’s there to protect them.”
Edgar Hermenegildo managed to get the ball just past Cooper’s outstretched arms in the 24th minute for the first half’s only goal. Montesano’s only score was on an own goal in the 75th minute.
On Monday, Elma (6-4, 6-4) stays home to take on Rochester. Montesano (4-6, 4-7) returns to action next Friday against Hoquiam.