Hazen soccer gets win, but needs 'miracle' after tough week

The Hazen boys soccer team on Tuesday picked up a win over Renton, but with three draws and a loss in the weeks prior, the two-time defending league champs have some ground to make up if they want to make the playoffs.

“We have no choice but spend all our energy on making the playoffs,” said Hazen Coach Ken Matthews in a press release. “This was a key game to do that – but it was step one. Step two is Friday (against Highline).”

Fielding his 12th lineup in 11 games, Matthews said the 5-0 score “shouldn’t fool anyone” as his team struggled to capitalize on chances in the first half.

Sophomore midfielder Reyes Garcia buried an assist from Jorman Gonzalez at 18 minutes into the first half to get Hazen on the board. Garcia got his second after the break on an assist from forward Isaiah Blount. Garcia also assisted on goals by Blount and midfielder Ethan Kem. Gonzalez scored the final goal on an assist from Cooper Cerna.

“We were able to tweak what we were doing in the first half and, amazingly, the second half happened,” Matthews said. “The guys played well. We’ve been in a funk for a few games. We’ll find out soon enough if this is Hazen Soccer V.4.”

Matthews said the team, currently in fourth place in the league, was “looking for a miracle” to make the postseason and will focus on beating Highline, who played the Highlanders to a 1-1 draw earlier this spring.

“In the 3.5 years I have been with the boys, the second Highline game has decided who is going to the playoffs,” Matthews said. “None of them have been easy; but they have been wins for us.”

In 2011, Hazen and Highline tied for the final playoff spot. Hazen won the game on a late goal by Frankie Johnson. In 2012 it was Jalen Conway with what Matthews described as a “right-foot-right-time goal” with less than 35 seconds left. Last year, Hazen drew Highline in the first match and came back to win 5-1 in the second.

“I guess we can hope for a similar results; I can’t tell you how important Friday’s game is to us getting to the playoffs,” said Matthews.

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