Boys soccer: Iacolucci’s hat trick propels Scots past Mavs 3-2
It wasn’t Chris Iacolucci’s most normal hat trick. After Austin Panek’s goal gave Meadowdale a 1-0 lead, Iacolucci — Shorecrest’s senior forward — scored his first goal for the Scots on the kickoff to tie the game. Iacolucci’s next goal — in the 24th minute — came when a shot by Ryan Heffernan deflected off an MHS defender and straight to Iacolucci in the box, where he promptly buried a shot. Finally, in the 44th minute, Iacolucci stole the ball straight off the feet of the Mavs’ Taylor Linton and chipped the ball over goaltender Mark Steinke’s head to complete the hat trick.
Panek scored off a Stuart Sullivan corner kick in the 48th minute and the Mavs had plenty of chances to tie the game up in the final 30 minutes, but failed to do so. Goaltender Spencer Haddenham-Gibler saved Sullivan’s 40 yard free kick in the last 2 minutes to seal the game, as Shorecrest won 3-2.
To open the game, the Scots moved the ball down the field easily with help from the wind and earned a corner kick right away. Kevin Musar sent in a cross that was knocked away and cleared. On the clearing attempt, the ball got by a defender and Panek caught up to it before it got to the goal box. Panek made no mistake and hit a low shot past Haddenham-Gibler to give the Mavs a 1-0 lead in the 4th minute. The Scots hurried the ball back to midfield and Alex Day took a quick kickoff to Iacolucci. Instead of dropping the ball back or dribbling through the defense, Iacolucci put his head down and smashed a shot into the air. The ball got carried by the wind and managed to get past Steinke and the game was tied at 1 in the 5th minute.
In the 13th minute, Taylor Linton got near the goal box before sending in a cross that was headed over the net by Tristan Springer. The Mavs stole the ensuing goal kick and Panek was set up for a 30 yard shot that went straight to Haddenham-Gibler. Back the other way, the Scots earned a free kick from 25 yards out that Musar sent just wide of the net. In the 17th minute, Cesar Ruiz got the ball at the top of the box and sent a hard shot on net that Steinke bobbled and dropped. Iacolucci put home the rebound, but was called offsides on the play, negating the goal.
Iacolucci’s next goal in the 24th minute was not negated. This time, Heffernan’s shot from 20 yards out was deflected by a Maverick defender and bounced straight to Iacolucci. He easily shuffled a low shot past Steinke to put the Scots up 2-1. The Scots had one more chance in the 36th minute when a foul was called at the top of the MHS box. Iacolucci came up to take the free kick and sent a low shot straight into the wall; the ball was cleared after. The game went into halftime with the Scots up 2-1.
Again, the teams started the half with a bang. In the 44th minute, Iacolucci won a through ball from the Maverick defense and dribbled into the goal box. Steinke was expecting the defense to win the ball, so he wasn’t as out of his net as he normally would be. Iacolucci took advantage of Steinke and sent a chip shot over his head and into the net to complete his hat trick, giving the Scots a 3-1 lead. Four minutes later, Panek struck. The Mavs earned a corner kick that Sullivan used to send a beautiful cross in. Panek got his leg on the ball and blasted it into the back of the net to make it 3-2 Shorecrest.
With the wind and the elements blowing in the Scots face for the second half, the Mavs controlled possession for the rest of the game. They earned chance after chance but failed to connect on any of them. In the 55th minute, Sullivan sent a 40 yard free kick into the box that was cleared out of bounds. On the resulting throw-in, Thomas Redd got the ball and attempted a shot from 30 yards that Haddenham-Gibler made the save on.
Eleven minutes later, Petr Gaburak got a yellow card for sliding into the legs of Springer. That set up another Sullivan 40 yard free kick that bounced right to the keeper. As the Scots pushed to counter, a through ball to Jonathan Luna-Blanco went too far, and Taylor Linton got to it first. Linton tried to clear over his head and the ball went off of Luna-Blanco’s arm. The ref signaled for a hand ball, but Luna-Blanco ignored the whistle and attempted a shot anyway. For this, Luna-Blanco was awarded a yellow card.
In the 70th minute, Musar sent a 35 yard free kick into the goal box that Steinke had to catch. On the counter, the Mavs earned a corner and again Sullivan was there to take it. This one was hit by Craig Elder wide of the net. Four minutes later, Sullivan took a 40 yard free kick into the box and Griffin Over managed to get a head on the ball, but sent it just wide. In the 78th minute, Sullivan got another free kick from the same exact spot. This time, he tried to score himself with the wind at his back, but the shot was punched away by Haddenham-Gibler. A minute later, Alec Norton got a yellow card for tackling Luna-Blanco from behind, and that put a stop to any offensive momentum the Mavs had. Shorecrest managed to hold on to a 3-2 victory.
This was both teams’ first Wesco conference game. With the win, the Scots go to 3-0 on the year and 1-0 in conference. Shorecrest plays again on Friday at home versus Glacier Peak at 7:30. With the loss, the Mavs go to 0-2-1 and 0-1 on the year. They play again on Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Lynnwood High School versus Mountlake Terrace. This will be an away game, despite the game site.
– By Quint Turner