Lakewood blows by Coupeville on the pitch

Lakewood’s Brandon Ochoa, left, heads the ball during the Cougars’ 3-2 victory over Coupeville on April 11.  - Travis Sherer
Lakewood’s Brandon Ochoa, left, heads the ball during the Cougars’ 3-2 victory over Coupeville on April 11.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

LAKEWOOD — The Cougars kept it simple and the result was a win against Coupeville.

“That was one of the three things we wanted to work on,” said Lakewood boys manager Bryce Barker after his team earned a 3-2 Cascade Conference victory April 11. “We knew that if we played simple and had fun, the goals would come.”

And they did. Lakewood had a 2-0 halftime lead due in large part to program captain Brandon Ochoa, who found himself in a 1-on-1 situation in the sixth minute. The senior was able to dribble the ball past the keeper, and got a favorable bounce off a pool in the goalie box so he could backheel in his goal.

“It slowed down a little bit in that puddle,” said Ochoa. “So I had to make it a little fancy to make up for it.”

Ochoa then assisted Lakewood’s second goal on a counterattack. Ochoa crossed the ball from the edge of the penalty area to a sliding Caleb Graves. Graves placed the ball in the left upper corner to increase the lead.

The Cougars seemed more prepared to deal with the conditions of the field at home, as a number of puddles would completely stop passes or at least slow them down.

“We can’t really prepare for anything from where we practice,” said Barker, whose boys practice on a sand field up the hill from the stadium. “But they probably had a better understanding of what was going on and how to take advantage of those fortunate bounces.”

Lakewood scored its third goal by way of Javi Mirramantes, who was there to rebound an earlier shot after it was deflected in the penalty area in the 62nd minute.

But the Wolves wouldn’t go away easy, as they scored a pair of goals in three minutes near the end of the match from a defensive lapse and a penalty kick. But Lakewood kept the equalizer out of reach — even with four minutes of stoppage time.

Keeper Gustavo Garcia came within five minutes of his first shutout, but made his presence known with six saves.

“He’s a good leader back there for our defense,” said Barker about his keeper who routinely directed his defense. “We’ve got a pair of great sophomore keepers that we’re really excited about, and you can see why.”

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