Trailing the Mountlake Terrace Hawks 2-1 at halftime, the Meadowdale Mavericks used the mid-match break to hold a team conversation on what they would need to pull out a victory on Saturday.
That talk resulted in a more determined and focused second half offensive attack and eventually into a Mavericks win.
Behind a pair of late goals by sophomore Momodu Sidibeh, Meadowdale earned a big come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Terrace in a Wesco League match played Saturday at Edmonds Stadium.
Meadowdale Coach Mike Nelson gave credit to the halftime team meeting for the squad’s strong second-half performance. “We went into the locker room and we just talked about things and figured out some adjustments,” he said.
The changes made in strategy paid off as the Mavs controlled much of the play after halftime. Terrace goalkeeper Jeremy Reitz was forced into making nine second-half saves; an additional two Meadowdale shots banged off the crossbar (on a Ebrima Sidibeh free kick) and a goal post (on a Cole Jackson free kick) in the 60th and 63rd minutes.
The relentless Mavs’ attack eventually paid off as Sidibeh scored goals in the the 69th and 78th minute to complete the Mavs’ comeback win.
Sidibeh scored his first goal after the ball squirted free from among a group of players in front of the Terrace goal and rolled to the vacant left post where the sophomore easily tapped it in.
Sidibeh fired his second goal past Reitz from inside the 6-yard box just two minutes before the game’s final whistle.
Nelson was especially impressed with how Sidibeh didn’t flinch on the game-winner. “He’s been a great addition to varsity, whether he’s starting or coming off the bench he brings us a different aspect to the game. And it showed right there with a great finish,” Nelson said.
Terrace Coach George Dremousis acknowledged that his Hawks were outplayed in the second half.
“They just didn’t have it the last 20 minutes of the game,” Dremousis said of his squad. “Meadowdale went much harder to every single ball and every single tackle. Sometimes it’s not about skill or talent — it’s just about passion, wanting it more than the other team; we had guys out there today just going through the motions.”
After the disappointing loss, Dremousis was resolved to get his squad to play with more aggressiveness this season.
“We have a lot of nice guys on our team and that’s great, that’s a great attribute to have, but in the game of soccer sometimes you need to be a little nasty. And we don’t have that right now,” he stated.
As for the Mavericks, Coach Nelson also wasn’t ready to ease up on his players despite the victory.
“Today was a good win and something for the boys to enjoy,” he said, “but at the same time it’s something we can take in for the moment and put it in the back mirror and get back to work on Monday.
Prep Boys Soccer: Mountlake Terrace at Meadowdale, Mar. 24
Terrace 2 0 — 2
Meadowdale 1 2 — 3
5th minute — Meadowdale own goal
17th minute — Mountlake Terrace own goal
27th minute — Bobby Stoyanov (Mountlake Terrace), penalty kick
69th minute — Momodu Sidibeh (Meadowdale)
78th minute — Momodu Sidibeh (Meadowdale)
5th minute — Bobby Stoyanov (Mountlake Terrace)
Meadowdale — 4
Mountlake Terrace — 4
Ryan Gillis (Meadowdale) — 6
Jeremy Reitz (Mountlake Terrace — 10
Records: Meadowdale 1-0-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 3-2-1 overall; Mountlake Terrace 1-0-1 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 3-2-1 overall
Meadowdale next match: versus Edmonds-Woodway, Tuesday, Mar. 27, 7:30 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium
Mountlake Terrace next match: versus Stanwood, Tuesday, Mar. 27, 7:30 p.m. at Stanwood High School
–By Doug Petrowski