Peninsula crushes Enumclaw in front of frenzied home crowd

Sophomore defender Brad Keller scores his first goal of the season

Staff writerMay 7, 2014 

Peninsula freshman forward Maynor Martinez scored two goals in Peninsula’s win over Enumclaw last week.

JON MANLEY/GATEWAY PHOTO

The Peninsula Seahawks were in nearly perfect form on their home turf Wednesday night when the Enumclaw Hornets came to Roy Anderson Field.

The Seahawks cruised to a 4-0 victory. The shutout comes on the heels of a 6-1 victory against Lakes, giving the Seahawks 10 goals in their past two games.

“We’ve just gone back and made some adjustments to the way we get forward, the way we attack,” Peninsula head coach Brian Lawson said. “I think more than anything it’s a buy into the system and the tactics that we’re trying to run. They’re learning it and buying into it and it’s showing on the field and the results are coming.”

The Seahawks scored three of their goals in their first half. Freshman forward Maynor Martinez scored in the first two minutes of the game, sophomore defender Brad Keller scored on a header, and senior forward Noah Hanks beat the goalie and walked the ball in for the final goal of the half. Keller, who doesn’t get a lot of scoring opportunities because he’s a defender, saw his first goal sail in on a set piece.

“It feels great,” Keller said. “It’s just really fun to come out and score that one, I’ve been waiting all season for that.”

In addition to scoring a goal, Keller likely saved a goal in the first half with his hustle on defense, closing in on a breakaway defender and winning the ball.

Keller made the difference for the Seahawks all game — he was seemingly all over the place. Lawson had high praise for his young defender.

“He’s absolutely huge,” Lawson said. “He is the center of our defense, the anchor of our defense. He brings the energy and the intensity that we need back there. He’s a ball winner, and he’s coachable. That’s the best thing, is he’s coachable. You ask him to do something and he’s willing to learn, and he has. He’s grown in the last three weeks more than he has in the two years I’ve had him as a player. He’s smart. We got a shutout tonight and a lot of it is due to him.”

For a Seahawks team that began the season with a less than stellar start, their recent fortunes are a welcome sight for the players and coaches.

“We’re a young team, and it takes those young players a while to adjust,” Lawson said. “We’re getting results from everybody now. Everybody is playing well, and they’re playing as a unit. It’s nice to be in stride as we look to move forward into the next two games and beyond.”

Making Wednesday’s match even sweeter, a small group of Peninsula students were out in full force, screaming loudly in support of their classmates and friends. It made a difference for the players.

“It totally motivates us,” Keller said. “It’s crazy, we love it.”

Initially, the section started out with only two students, although it grew throughout the game. Even with only two students, the effect was noticeable.

“I said to my other coach, when there were two of them, it started as just two, and they were making noise,” Lawson said. “That’s fun, it’s motivating. It gives the boys a bit of energy and that extra push to go out and be successful.”

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

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