Paced by Jeremy Copenhaver's hat trick, the Coupeville High School soccer team more than doubled its goal total for the year and earned its first win by drubbing Friday Harbor 5-1 at Mickey Clark Field Wednesday, April 17.
The win helped ease some of the pain caused by a 3-1 loss at rival South Whidbey the previous evening. The win also took some of the sting out of a 1-0, season-opening loss at Friday Harbor (1-6) March 12.
Coupeville scored only four goals in its opening 11 losses, but the offense finally set sail in the big win over the Wolverines.
Though the final score was 5-1, much of the match fit the pattern of so many so far this season – a tight, highly-contested battle. Only a late flurry by the Wolves turned it into a landslide.
Coupeville's Nathan Lamb scored first, booming in a shot from 18 yards out in the 16th minute. The Wolverines' Daniel Porter countered and the teams entered the break knotted at 1.
Coach Paul Mendes said, "We came out strong for the second half and the second goal was huge, coming at a crucial time."
Six minutes into the second half, Sean Donley threaded a pass to Copenhaver on a breakaway. Copenhaver, with a pair of Wolverines in chase, chipped the ball over the rushing Friday Harbor keeper Dalton Ayers for the go-ahead goal.
That gave Coupeville the momentum and the Wolves didn't let up.
Donley scored on a penalty kick midway through the second half when Lamb was fouled in front of the Friday Harbor goal.
Jeremy Copenhaver scored again on a breakaway in the 69th minute when he beat Ayers trying to close the angle.
Four minutes later Copenhaver completed his hat trick with what Mendes called "the best taken free kick I have seen in my time here."
The sophomore's free kick from 25 yards curved over the defensive wall and "dipped down to find the upper left corner of the net," Mendes said.
"The win was well deserved and hard earned," Mende said. "It was a fine reward for all the work we have been doing. It should give us some confidence as we approach the final stretch of the season."
Against South Whidbey, Donley scored in the 24 minute, just two minutes after the first Falcon score, to even the match at 1 heading into halftime.
Two goals in the final 10 minutes sewed up the win for South Whidbey (6-4, 6-4-2).
Mendes said, "The game was hotly contested in the second half with both teams threatening to score numerous times. It was a much more even match than the first time we played them March 26. The effort was good right to the end."
Coupeville (0-10, 1-11) welcomes Sultan (2-8, 3-9) at 6 p.m. Friday, April 19. The Turks beat the Wolves 2-1 March 29.