Strong second half propels Peninsula to first league win

Seahawks score two goals in final 10 minutes to edge Lakes

Staff writerApril 16, 2014 

Sophomore defender Bradley Keller surveys the field in Peninsula’s win over Lakes on Wednesday night.

JON MANLEY/GATEWAY PHOTO

The Peninsula Seahawks scored three goals in the second half against the visiting Lakes Lancers on Wednesday night to secure a 3-1 win, their first of the season.

Despite dominating time of possession and shots on goal in the first half, Peninsula trailed 1-0. Head coach Brian Lawson said the team has come out flat in most of their games so far this season, which is a trend he’s hoping to reverse. In the locker room at halftime, Lawson didn’t spend much time trying to motivate the team.

“I was in there for maybe a minute,” Lawson said. “I told them, ‘There’s nothing I can say that’s gonna pull us out of this, so you guys have gotta figure it out.’ ”

The players responded. Senior captain forward Noah Hanks broke free 10 minutes into the half, and was tackled in the box, giving the Seahawks a penalty kick. Junior Ryan Campbell delivered the equalizer.

Hanks came through again with eight minutes left in the game, tapping in the ball from point-blank range, thanks to an assist from sophomore Blake Cohoe. Senior midfielder Casey Brooks delivered the third goal for the Seahawks, wrapping up the win.

Despite the Seahawks struggles to convert scoring opportunities in the first half, they kept their composure and battled in the second half.

“We were confident, we were creating chances,” Brooks said. “We knew that if we just kept putting pressure on them, we’d get a goal eventually. We managed to get three and we’re proud of our performance tonight.”

Hanks said the early deficit motivated the team.

“It gets a fire in our bellies to want to play and put the ball in the back of the net,” Hanks said. “When we were able to get our chances in the second, we were able to capitalize.”

Lawson praised the team’s cool demeanor and poise.

“They got in a hole at halftime,” Lawson said, but “they realized they were still in this game, and it’s still going to be competitive.”

The team’s success ran through their captain, Hanks, on Wednesday. In addition to earning the penalty kick and converting the go-ahead goal, Hanks constantly applied pressure on Lakes’ defense with his crafty dribbling and strength.

“He (Hanks) just brings another level of intensity that’s just contagious, the boys feed off it,” Lawson said. “He’s a workhorse, he never stops working. The boys see him lead by example. He’s a vocal leader as well. They rally around him and use that energy to go out and raise the level of play and get some goals.”

The Seahawks travel to Bonney Lake on Wednesday before returning home Monday to face Auburn Mountainview.

Jon Manley: 253-358-4151 jon.manley@gateline.com Twitter: @gateway_jon

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