As the final minute of second-half extra-time ticked down at the Edmonds-Woodway – Meadowdale boys soccer contest on Wednesday, the Warriors’ Ben Forder decided to take matters into his own hands — actually into his right foot.
With the game knotted at 1-1, the senior striker found himself one-on-one with Meadowdale goalkeeper Kyle Houk, approaching from a sharp angle and needing to make a split-second decision as to what to do next.
“Once I got in the (18-yard) box I had no other choice; I wasn’t going to pull it back,” Forder explained. “We needed a goal — it was tied.”
Forder was able to get off a low right-footed shot just beyond the outstretched arms of Houk that kissed the right goalpost and into the back of the net. The goal gave the Warriors a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Mavs in front of a spirited crowd at Edmonds Stadium.
Forder was ecstatic after the match as he described the last-minute, game-winning goal.
“It felt amazing; I loved every last second of it,” he said.
Forder’s effort came less than 10 minutes after the Mavericks had scored the match-tying goal at the 72nd minute mark. Meadowdale freshman forward Ethan Borland found himself all alone in the 18-yard box and easily smashed a shot past E-W goalkeeper Mackey Guenther to tie the game at 1-1.
The high-scoring Mavs, who had been averaging 3.5 goals per game going into Wednesday’s match, were held in check prior to Borland’s goal by a suffocating E-W defense. Meadowdale got off only six shots total in the contest.
Meanwhile, the Warriors’ offensive attack looked dangerous all night. E-W scored in the 28th minute when Sebastian Sanchez-Ortega pounded a pass from Forder into the Mavs’ goal to take a 1-0 first half lead.
The Warriors’ attack — 12 shots in total — kept Houk busy all night; the Meadowdale goalkeeper made six saves, his best when he kicked away a shot from Forder two minutes into the second half. He even needed help from teammate Jacob Sessier, who blocked a sure goal off a kick by E-W’s Sebastian Olson in the 24th minute.
Mavs’ Coach Michael Nelson, while disappointed with the setback, was pleased with the overall effort of Houk and his squad. “It was a hard-fought game,” he said. “The boys played their hearts out and the result wasn’t what we wanted, but at the end of the day the boys did everything they possibly could.”
E-W Coach Mike Ochoa knew his squad would be in for a struggle against the Wesco League second-place team in Meadowdale, and that made the win even more satisfying, he said.
“It’s a good battle every year,” Ochoa noted. “I think this one was especially tough because of their position right now in the conference. They’ve been doing a really good job winning a lot of games, scoring a lot of goals. They just came off a 10-zero win at Oak Harbor so we knew it was going to be extremely tough.
“I think this is a well-deserved win,” he said of his team’s victory. “They worked really hard.”
Prep Boys Soccer: Meadowdale at Edmonds-Woodway, April 10
Meadowdale 0 1 — 1
Edmonds-Woodway 1 1 — 2
— Sebastian Sanchez-Ortega (Edmonds-Woodway) in the 28th minute
— Ethan Borland (Meadowdale) in the 72nd minute
— Ben Forder (Edmonds-Woodway) in the 82nd minute
— Mackey Guenther (Edmonds-Woodway), 2
— Kyle Houk (Meadowdale), 6
— Edmonds-Woodway, 3
— Meadowdale, 2
— Baboucarr Sowe (Meadowdale) in the 20th minute
— Christopher Hanby (Edmonds-Woodway) in the 43th minute
— Eddy Olson (Edmonds-Woodway) in the 48th minute
— Jacob Sessier (Meadowdale) in the 75th minute
— Zoumana Kone (Edmonds-Woodway) in the 79th minute
Records: Meadowdale 7-2-0 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 8-3-0 overall; Edmonds-Woodway 6-1-2 in 2A/3A Wesco League, 6-2-2 overall
Meadowdale next match: versus Shorecrest: Tuesday, April 16; 7:30 p.m. at Edmonds Stadium
Edmonds-Woodway next match: versus Cedarcrest; Tuesday, April 16; 6:30 p.m. at Cedarcrest High School in Duvall
— By Doug Petrowski