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Crenshaw, Marysville Tommies take it to Stanwood
Ballew's goal and assist helped Marysville-Pilchuck to Wesco North win
MARYSVILLE — As odd as it sounds, the Tommies needed to be scored on first.
In a 3-2 Wesco North win April 6, Marysville-Pilchuck overcame a slow start in a big way.
"We came out a little lackadaisical the first few minutes and you get punished for that against a good team," said M-P captain Brady Ballew.
The Tomahawks certainly were caught off guard by Stanwood's counter attack in the eighth minute, when Julio Aguilar's strike from the right side was perfectly placed in the far top corner from 30 yards out to score on the Spartans' first shot of the match.
After surrendering the first goal, however, the Tomahawks demonstrated near perfect soccer for the remainder of the first half.
Evenly spread throughout the pitch, the Tommies (5-2) maintained possession for the vast majority of first half, with spacing projected the appearance of having 13 players.
"This was our first game playing on wet grass and I thought that everybody's first touches were sick, making it look like we had more space," Ballew said.
M-P did well to respond, scoring less than five minutes after being scored upon. The ever-dangerous John Crenshaw tracked down a ball over the top just inside the penalty area. His shot ricocheted off a diving Dalton Alumbaugh in goal and into the side of the net.
Ballew gave his team a 2-1 lead after scoring on an eventual one-on-one situation from about 15 yards out with a low strike. Before getting there, however, Ballew received the ball at close to midfield, beat two defenders on the dribble and ran by another two in the space of about 25 yards.
"Brady did a great job of controlling the middle," said M-P coach Geoff Kittle. "He and Collin (Carlson) did well playing off each other and I think we found our midfield."
Collin, normally a defender, was able to make runs and help Ballew attack a less sound Spartans midfield.
Scoring the eventual game-winning goal was Crenshaw, who tapped in a pass from Ballew inside the area. Alumbaugh was forced to make a diving save from Anthony Johnson's set piece, Ballew saved Alumbaugh's push from reaching out of bounds.
Rashiz Al-Ansari scored in the 69th minute for Stanwood to make it interesting, but the Spartans were unable to find the equalizer.