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Marysville-Pilchuck soccer wins at Snohomish
SNOHOMISH — A shutout and a hat trick were the means, but in the end, this M-P soccer team can claim something the Tommies haven't done in nearly a decade: a win at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
"The guys knew what this meant," said M-P manager Geoff Kittle. "It's a big win for us."
Brady Ballew's trio of goals and Kyle Bluhm's shutout helped Marysville-Pilchuck to a 3-0 Wesco North win over rival Snohomish April 27.
"I think this one tops all of them — senior year at Snohomish," said Ballew, recalling his career hat tricks.
The Tommies ruined senior night for the Panthers by executing a season sweep in which they didn't allow a Snohomish goal, with the first meeting between the two resulting in a 1-0 result.
Earning both shutouts was Bluhm, whose workload in the second saw a steady increase as the match progressed.
"I just tried to keep myself mentally in the game because when the physical stuff started, you are ready for it," said the junior keeper who posted 10 saves.
Ballew scored his first goal of the night just inside the first 10 minutes, collecting possession while on the run just past midfield. He side-steped one defender and beat two others running to his left, pulling the keeper out of the box and tapped it to his right.
In as much as Ballew created something out of nothing for his first score, the second had to be credited to Anival Moreno. The senior forward fought off a defender along the sideline 20 yards out and turned it into a shot along the end line that bounced off the far post to a fortuitously positioned Ballew, who tapped in his second from inside the area.
The match offered a number of heros for the Tommies. In a pair of separate second-half instances, defenders Keir Torkorla and Terrance Johnson preserved the clean sheet while standing on the goal mouth.
The win puts M-P and Snohomish tied in points (28) but the Tommies have played one less match and have the inside track to the No. 2 spot in the Wesco, and a chance to earn a second straight conference title should they win out.
M-P has won three straight matches, and Kittle credits that to the team learning how to win without forward John Crenshaw, who has been injured most of the season.
"I think we have been kind of waiting for John to come back, but once he announced it would take a while, we were able to move on," Kittle said.
Ballew scored his final goal after a power outage with less than 10 minutes remaining left the stadium in darkness and play suspended.
In the 78th minute, Ballew was the first to a short goal kick and blasted a shot from 35 yards out.