Knights claim hard-fought win over Marauders | Boys soccer

Numerous cards issued in heated clash between Kamiak and Mariner
By David Pan | Mar 28, 2018
Kamiak’s Joshua Pang (left) and Kaydin Wall battle with Mariner’s Efren Martinez during a Wesco 4A game Friday, March 23, at Kamiak High School.

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motions were running high between district rivals Kamiak and Mariner during their first meeting of the season.

After 80 minutes of heated action, the Knights emerged with a 3-0 victory over the Marauders in a Wesco 4A boys soccer game Friday, March 23, at Kamiak High School.

The rough play by both teams ensured that the referee earned his paycheck, as he handed out multiple cards. Kamiak received one red and two yellow cards, while Mariner was given one red and one yellow card.

Senior co-captain Joshua Pang said that the Knights came out with a lot of emotion.

“Every year we’re practicing for these types of games – rivalry games with a lot of intensity,” he said. “The will to win got us the W.”

Junior Noah Venditto scored in the 14th minute and junior Marcus Swanson followed with a goal off an assist from Cade Cooke in the 29th minute to give the Knights a 2-0 first half lead. Sophomore Kaydin Wall then extended Kamiak’s lead with a goal off via Venditto in the 50th minute.

An early red card for a hard tackle meant that the Knights were down a player.

“So we had to make some adjustments,” Kamiak coach Kosta Pitharoulis said. “I like the fact we were able to make those adjustments and continue to attack. We’re still kind of figuring things out and tinkering a little bit to make sure everyone is in a spot where they can be successful.”

The action on the field eventually spilled out onto the sidelines briefly after the Knights (2-0 in the league, 4-0 overall) took exception to having one of their players kneed in the chest while on the ground by a Mariner player. After the referee helped restore order a red card was issued to the Marauders (0-2, 0-3-1).

“Both teams want to protect their players,” Mariner coach Vince DeSimone said.

Both he and Pitharoulis attributed the hard play on the field to a natural rivalry between two teams in the same school district who know each other well.

“It does get intense and it is a rivalry game,” Pitharoulis said. “It’s an important game. It’s always an important game.”

Some of the players actually are on the same select team, DeSimone added.

“It’s two teams from Mukilteo, who want to be best, and are always competing to be the best in any sport,” Pang said. “It’s always like this.”

Pitharoulis liked what he saw from the Knights on the field for the most part.

“We lost our composure obviously at times, which can happen I guess with the crosstown rival,” he said. “But it shouldn’t. I was a little disappointed in our reaction a couple of times. I think we handled the adversity pretty well and adjusted well and kind of found our feet and kept our heads for the remainder of the game.”

The shutout was Kamiak’s third straight following a pair of 2-0 victories over nonconference opponent Shorecrest and league rival Cascade. Sophomore Connor Bourne is making quite an impression as the new starting goalkeeper.

“We knew he was very capable, so it’s been fun to watch him kind of get acclimated to the varsity and do as well as he’s been doing,” Pitharoulis said.

Defender Pang and senior co-captain Cooke help provide support for Bourne.

“We have some guys in the back that have been varsity starters for four years now and just that experience is very helpful,” Pitharoulis said.

The perfect start to the season is what Pang was hoping to see from the Knights but many more games remain.

“We’ve got to keep ourselves levelheaded and keep practicing toward our eventual goal, which is winning state,” Pang said.

Despite the lack of victories to start the season DeSimone isn’t pushing the panic button.

“We can do better and we will,” he said. “I believe we’re going to be in the playoffs. There’s no doubt about it.”

Kamiak coach to
take over girls program

Kamiak boys soccer coach Kosta Pitharoulis has been named the new girls soccer coach, succeeding Beth Stewart, who retired. Pitharoulis is a 1995 graduate of Kamiak and has coached Everett’s girls soccer team since 2001. The Seagulls won a state title in 2008.

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