On Saturday, the Hounds headed south for a league match with Clarkston. Despite the long grass and narrow field, the Hounds opened the game with good efficiency — connecting passes, changing the point of attack, and getting the outside backs forward. Senior Kwan Kim, an outside defender, made a well-timed run down the weak side in the 18th minute when fellow senior Will Konkel played the ball across the face of the goal. Kim one-timed the shot for the early 1-0 lead. 13 minutes later, Konkel threaded a through-ball to freshman Jaxon Patrick making a diagonal run in from the right flank. Patrick slotted the ball past Clarkston’s all-league keeper Alex Italia; it was Patrick’s second goal of the season as well as his second game-winner. Konkel, who missed the previous game with a nagging injury, combined with Sam Tingstad to dominate the possession game in the first half. The Hounds took the 2-0 into halftime.
Preseason, the conventional wisdom was that Clarkston was the clear favorite to win the Great Northern League title; a team that made the 2018 State Tournament, they returned the majority of their players, speed, and athleticism, including the league’s Offensive MVP, Theo Baiye. Over spring break, the Bantams traveled to Alaska, winning all three non-league games they played. Expectations at Clarkston for the 2019 season are certainly high. Earlier this week, Clarkston lost an overtime match to league-leading Cheney, 2-1. To stay in the conversation for a league title, a win against Pullman would be important. With that in mind, Clarkston opened the second half determined to battle back. The game became vertically stretched — an advantage for the Bantams’ style and speed. In the 59th minute, Theo Baiye broke down the Pullman defense in a counter-attack, serving a ball over the top to his brother Steve, streaking down the left flank. Baiye came full speed at freshman keeper Tom Cole and played the ball past him. Clarkston continued to high pressure throughout the half, but the Pullman defense held tough and the team won enough 50-50 balls to limit the Bantams’ quality scoring chances.
The win positions Pullman solidly in 2nd Place, just one point behind Cheney. The Hounds control their own destiny — win the final four games and win the league title.
In terms of attacking, we have made tremendous strides over the course of eleven games. The development and progression of Sam Tingstad, Eric Kumar , Isaac Kim, Peter Wang, and Will Konkel cannot be understated. They have fully bought in to what we’re trying to accomplish, and our attack is so much better as a result.” -Coach Winchell
Pullman (4-7, 3-1) 2
Clarkston (8-3, 2-2) 1
Shots — Pullman 10, Clarkston 10. Saves — Pullman, Cole 5, Wolsborn 3; Clarkston, Italia 8.
First half — 1, Pul, Kwan Kim (Konkel), 18:00. 2, Pul, Patrick (Konkel), 31:00.
Second half — 1, Cla, S.Baiye (T.Baiye), 59:00.