Knights open playoffs with 1-0 win over Vikings | Boys soccer

Segura scores lone goal in 4A opener
By David Pan | May 11, 2017
Photo by: David Pan Kamiak’s Andre Hamilton chases after a ball during a district playoff game against Lake Stevens Saturday, May 6, at Kamiak High School.

Kamiak’s Manuel Segura used his foot this time.

After he missed a header in the 42nd minute, the ball came bouncing Segura’s way three minutes later and the sophomore midfielder executed a spectacular bicycle kick to score the winning goal in the Knights’ 1-0 victory over Lake Stevens in a loser-out district boys soccer tournament game Saturday, May 6, at Kamiak High School.

“I guess I was just there at the right time,” Segura said. “It bounced over a couple of people and then I was just there.”

The ball went over Segura’s head and as he tracked the ball with his eyes, Segura knew what he was going to do. Leaving his feet, Segura booted the ball into the right side of the net.

“I didn’t really want to head it because it was bouncing,” he said. “I might as well go for the bicycle.”

Minutes earlier, Segura headed the ball when in retrospect he said he should have kicked it.

“I dove down and I was pretty sure I should have just shot it,” Segura said. “Unluckily, it hit somebody’s foot and went out.”

Kamiak coach Kosta Pitharoulis noted that a number of elements came together in Segura’s goal.

The Knights were able to pass the ball to junior forward Soren Pehlivanian on the right side.

“There was a ball played into our forward,” Pitharoulis said. “Soren played that ball into Manny, who then did a great shot … It was an awesome effort.”

Kamiak (11-4-2 overall) is scheduled to face district rival Mariner (11-3-1) in a semifinal game on Tuesday, May 9, after the Beacon’s deadline. The Knights swept the regular season series, but the Marauders finished in second place in the league, ahead of Kamiak, which was third in the standings.

The winner of Tuesday’s contest advances to the district title game at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, May 11 at Lake Stevens High School.

The Knights and Vikings split their regular season series with Kamiak winning 5-3 in March and Lake Stevens taking the rematch 2-0 a month.

“Everything is different when it’s a playoff game,” Segura said. “Anything is up for grabs. We just came out here and we wanted the win. We worked for it.”

Pitharoulis said that the Knights may have been a little overconfident in the second game against Lake Stevens.

“We had beat them the first time and so we didn’t necessarily play our game,” he said. “I think that was the main difference in the second meeting and today. I think the boys wanted to make a point that they were the better team. It was a good battle.”

Lake Stevens (5-10-2) seemed to have somewhat of an edge in terms of ball possession for much of the first half. The advantage was due in part to simple numbers. Lake Stevens’ three central midfielders were making Kamiak’s two midfielders work hard.

“They had some pretty good ball possession,” Pitharoulis said. “We had two center midfielders versus their three. We decided to switch up our numbers a little bit and make things work in our favor and I think that was kind of what changed the game for the most part.

The Knights went to a formation with four defenders and five midfielders and one attacker.

“So then we had three center midfielders and really just tried to keep their three midfielders in front of us defensively, which I think made things more difficult for them,” Pitharoulis.

During practices, Segura often spends some working on the bicycle kick when the team is getting warmed up. That hard work paid off handsomely in Kamiak’s district opener.

“You just felt it was a matter of time (before) it would come in a game,” Pitharoulis said. “It was awesome that it was in a playoff game and a lot of fun for him.”

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.