Marysville-Pilchuck blanks Panthers

Marysville-Pilchuck senior midfielder Emmanuel Moreno fights to control possession with a Snohomish defender on his back. - Travis Sherer
Marysville-Pilchuck senior midfielder Emmanuel Moreno fights to control possession with a Snohomish defender on his back.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

Tommies get the early inside track on Wesco North title

MARYSVILLE — The Tommies have almost moved past the point where beating Snohomish defines their season.

That much showed after earning a 1-0 shutout of the Panthers in a Wesco North shut out March 29.

There may have been a little more celebration than a normal win, but there were no tears or footballers piling on each other in the center of the pitch.

“That’s good that they sort of expect to win, especially here,” said M-P coach Geoff Kittle.

The match-deciding moment came off the foot of striker John Crenshaw just a few minutes into the second half.

“It was a great ball over the top from Anthony Johnson that I was able to chip over the keeper,” Crenshaw said. “It just happened to be the game-winner.”

And with that, the Tommies (4-1 Wesco North) just happened to put themselves on the inside track to defend their 2009 conference championship, which they won by beating the Panthers and ending a 10-year Snohomish reign.

But with much of the season remaining, the Tommies can be satisfied with the little things, such as keeper Kyle Bluhm notching his third shutout of the season.

“I was pleased with Kyle’s play,” Kittle said. “He didn’t have a lot of chances but moving guys around and organizationally, he did a great job.”

Johnson, who provided the Crenshaw with the ability to win the game, helped Marysville stabilize the middle.

“Anthony has done an incredible job in the center for us,” Kittle said.

And then there was the play of Brady Ballew, who wasn’t involved in the M-P score, but the Seattle University-bound striker played a valuable role in pressuring Snohomish’s defenders and retreating into the backfield to help gain possession from the Panthers’ attack.

Snohomish did have one last opportunity inside the final three minutes of play by winning a corner kick. The aforementioned kick found a Snohomish head right around the center of the area, but it was pushed too far to the left.

Kittle said that while Snohomish is always a challenge, the real challenge will come on April 27 when the Tommies travel over there.

“That stadium has been sort of a mental block for us,” he said.

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