OLYMPIA — The 2A Evergreen Conference boys soccer season has reached the midway point, and no squad is in a better position than Capital High School.
Thi Hoang and Jordan Zimmerman scored during the opening 10 minutes of the match as the undefeated Cougars tightened their already firm grip on the EvCo with a convincing 2-0 victory over visiting Aberdeen at Ingersoll Stadium on Saturday night.
“We had great practices all week leading up to this,” Capital coach Andrew Lopez said. “We came in focused.”
It didn’t take long for the Cougars to turn what was supposed to be a showdown between the conference’s top contenders into a one-sided affair.
Hoang, a junior midfielder, slipped behind the Bobcats’ defense before launching a blast from 12 yards out that found the back of net.
The match was less than six minutes old, but it proved to be all the offense the Cougars needed.
With senior Jakob Racimo in goal and a stingy back line spearheaded by senior Daniel Pailthorp, Capital has been stellar on defense this season as the Cougars recorded their sixth shutout while outscoring opponents by a combined 27-3.
“It certainly takes the pressure off,” Lopez said about the early goal. “I was very pleased with how our defense played. (Aberdeen) didn’t get too many shots off and the ones they did were from far distance. We had some players out and were forced to mix up our lineup.
“I think this win really shows our depth and how we can substitute a number of players and not see a drop in play.”
With the victory, the Cougars (8-0 overall, 6-0 2A EvCo) increase their lead in the standings to two games with six league matches remaining.
Aberdeen, the defending conference champions, dropped its second consecutive conference match as the Bobcats also lost to Centralia, 2-0, on April 10 to fall to 6-2 overall and 4-2 in EvCo play.
The Cougars dominated the first half, controlling the ball and the pace, outshooting the Bobcats, 6-1.
Zimmerman pushed the advantage to 2-0 in the ninth minute, heading in Aidan Klemmer’s corner kick.
Aberdeen failed to generate any real scoring opportunities throughout the first half — the Bobcats’ lone shot on net did not come until the 28th minute and was easily smothered by Racimo.
It was more of the same in the second half with Capital once again dictating the game’s flow and denying Aberdeen any real offensive chances.
The rematch between the two squads will take place in Aberdeen in the regular season finale on May 6.
The Cougars continue EvCo play Tuesday when they play Tumwater before squaring off against Olympia in a non-league match Saturday.