Eastlake soccer rocks Renton behind Thornton, Baugh
September 16, 2013
By Neil Pierson
Two games into the 2012 season, Matti Thornton tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her knee, derailing her junior season of soccer with the Eastlake Wolves before it really got started.
Thornton returned to full health just in time for this season’s tryouts, and her first game back was remarkable. The senior forward scored Eastlake’s first three goals, leading the Wolves to a 7-0 rout of the Renton Indians in a non-league match Sept. 10 at Renton Memorial Stadium.
“It just feels good to come back with a hat trick and a 7-0 (win), even though it was harsh on the other team,” Thornton said. “I feel bad about that. But it was good as a team that we played together.”
Eastlake head coach Chuck Krieble said he was surprised by the lopsided score. He scheduled the game because the Wolves were having trouble finding other opponents, and Class 2A Renton seemed like a viable option because it had a winning record last season.
After piling up a 4-0 halftime lead and adding three more goals in the first 20 minutes of the second half, Krieble put the brakes on his team’s attack and instructed them to focus on passing and maintaining possession. He said he wasn’t looking to embarrass the Indians.
“That was certainly not our intent,” Krieble said. “Even though it was our first game, we didn’t know what we were going to be dealing with. They did some things well, and then as the game wore on, we thought the better of pressing even harder.”
The Wolves controlled the match from start to finish in terms of possession and chances. Thornton got the only goal they’d need in the ninth minute, latching onto a long ball over the defense and poking the ball past Indians goalkeeper Taylor Farris.
Thornton scored her second goal three minutes later. Melissa Radecke’s shot near the top of the 18-yard box was blocked, but the rebound fell right to Thornton, who finished from five yards.
She completed her hat trick in the 32nd minute with another tap-in that came from a strong crossing pass.
Krieble said it was nice to see Thornton rewarded for the hard work she’s done to return to the pitch.
“We didn’t have her at all last year, and she did everything she was supposed to do (to get healthy),” the coach said. “She has very good instincts in the box. … In the early part of the game, it was still very much a game, and she did well.”
Madison Baugh rounded out Eastlake’s first-half scoring in the 36th minute.
Off an Allie Garrett free kick, the Wolves connected several passes before the ball found Peyton Johnstone for a quality chance. Farris stopped Johnstone’s shot, but Baugh collected the rebound for a point-blank goal.
Kristin Brady assisted on Baugh’s second goal in the 47th minute. Brady sprinted down the left side of the penalty area and crossed the ball to Baugh for a one-touch finish.
Baugh nearly had her own hat trick, but Farris tipped a rocket shot off the crossbar in the 54th minute.
Freshman forward Alyse Barlow got Eastlake’s sixth goal in the 57th minute, and she assisted on Katelyn Wyncoup’s goal in the 59th minute.
It was promising start to the new season for Eastlake, which is trying to return to the playoffs for the eighth time in Krieble’s nine seasons.
Thornton thinks they’re flying under the radar at the moment. They’ve got several freshmen and sophomore players who will have to reverse what was a subpar offensive attack a year ago.
“With all the stuff coming out that (opponents are) not really looking at Eastlake, we’re kind of like, ‘We’ll show them,’” Thornton said. “We’ve got the skill on our team, and this year we’ll do better scoring-wise.”