Sports

Lakewood soccer stays undefeated

Lakewood midfielder Taylor Studzinski advances the ball. - Travis Sherer
Lakewood midfielder Taylor Studzinski advances the ball.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

LAKEWOOD — On their bus rides to away matches, the Cougars look at a poster with a pair of inspirational thoughts.

The first being that despite an appearance in the second round of the 2A state tournament a year ago, the Cascade Conference coaches picked Lakewood to finish sixth in the conference this year before the season started.

The second is a list of all the teams the Cougars have beaten.

That list is getting long, as Lakewood finished an undefeated regular season Oct. 23 with a 4-0 win against Coupeville.

“If you would’ve asked me if we were going to sweep the conference, I would have said ‘Ha! Yeah right, okay,’” said Lakewood coach Jeremiah Wohlgemuth.

But the Cougars not only captured the Cascade Conference title, but they did so in dominating fashion. Lakewood has allowed just five goals in 16 games (15-0-1 overall, 14-0 in Cascade Conference). In fact, with two, King’s is the only team to score more than one goal in two games.

Now, with the No. 1 seed in hand, the Cougars will play a playoff home match Oct. 30.

Obviously, the Cougars’ success has hinged on its defense, as it did last season, but the offense has improved as well, scoring 48 goals this season.

“We’ve really matured as a team throughout this season,” Wohlgemuth said. “Last year, we were so young at every position.”

The Cougars carry just six seniors on their roster, but they have been integral, starting with Alicia Stott, who has scored 20 goals and added seven assists.

But despite a few key players, the Cougars show a unity against tough opponents that is hard to match. That much has been obvious in games where they have defeated defending Class 2A state champion Archbishop Murphy twice.

Most recently, the Cougars knocked off the Wildcats 2-1 in a shootout Oct. 21.

Lakewood posted the school’s first goal against the Wildcats by the foot of defender Kennedy Bonnallie with just seconds remaining in stoppage time.

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