The final score didn’t count in the standings, but the in-game mechanics meant the world to Woodinville coach Nathan Davis.
After tying Inglemoor 0-0 in an exhibition game September 12 at Pop Keeney Stadium, he and his Falcon players were all smiles.
"We worked on ball movement and used our width," Davis said. "What was great to see was that as (Inglemoor) was getting tired and looked behind the game, we took advantage and kept moving the ball quickly, had good one-twos, got the ball out wide, got some crosses in — it’s the type of soccer we’ve been trying to play for two weeks now. It’s starting to come together. I’m looking forward to the start of the season."
One interesting dynamic occurred in the second half, when Inglemoor was about to make a corner kick on Woodinville’s goal. Inglemoor stationed a player right in front of the Falcons’ star goalie Molly Stinson, and Davis responded with vocal gusto as he positioned one of his players right behind the Inglemoor player.
"That’s a twofold thing there," Davis explained. "One of it is part of the game. They were trying to block Molly from going out and catching the ball in the air.
"So I wanted us to step in front of that girl and prevent her from even moving. So we’re going to essentially pick her and let Molly go free. Part of that is also the team part of the game. It’s telling your opponent, ‘hey, you don’t mess with our goalie! We’re going to step up and make sure you can’t do that.’ And you look after each other. It’s a professional thing. Like if someone hits one of our girls really hard, we recognize the number and go ‘okay, and we will do a nice professional foul back on you later on.’ We’ll do the same thing. We’re a team and we’re looking out for each other."
Davis singles out Stinson as one of the leaders of his squad.
"She’s got the captain’s band on because of her work ethic and because the way she leads the team," he said. "She’s going to be a difference maker for us this year. She makes that one extra save that we don’t expect, and we’re going to win games."
From her position as goalie, Molly Stinson liked what she saw from her teammates as compared to their first pre-season game a few days ago.
"It was a lot more fluid today," she said. "We really looked like we wanted it out there. Last game, we weren’t going to the ball at all.
"We were letting the other team play around us. In this game, we were pushing hard, winning every ball in the air, winning every 50/50 tackle. We just played a lot better as a team."
Woodinville’s regular season starts on Thursday, September 19 at Issaquah.