SPORTS: Newcomers start high school soccer careers on high note with four goals each
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Peninsula Daily News
Scoring four goals is a significant feat for a soccer player.
Port Townsend’s Daniel Charlton and Port Angeles’ Miki Andrus both achieved it in the Redskins’ 6-5 overtime win over the Roughriders last Saturday.
That they both scored four times in the same game isn’t the most impressive thing about their accomplishment.
That would be that Andrus and Charlton were each playing in their first high school soccer games.
“It was pretty exciting, a good way to start the season,” Charlton said.
“Guys on my team were making fantastic passes to me.”
He and Andrus wasted no time starting their respective goal-scoring barrages, each netting three goals in the opening half.
Charlton scored two quick goals, in the 12th and 14th minutes, to give Port Townsend a 2-0.
Andrus soon responded with a goal in the 17th minute, before Charlton made it 3-1 in the 25th minute.
But goals in the 29th and 35th minutes by Andrus evened the score at 3-3.
The two then scored goals a couple of minutes apart in the second half.
Though new to the Port Townsend soccer team, Charlton, a junior, is not a soccer newcomer.
He estimates he has been playing the game since he was 3 or 4 years old, and has been on a select team in Bainbridge Island for several years.
But his previous springs were spent playing catcher for the Redskins’ baseball team.
Port Townsend soccer coach Steve Shively joked that this year Charlton “finally got his priorities straight and turned out for ‘the beautiful game,’ ” as soccer is often called.
“I love both games, but I aspire to play [soccer] at the next level,” Charlton said of his decision to choose soccer over baseball this spring.
“I like how creative you can be on the pitch. Once the game starts, there’s really no influence from the coach.
“It’s such a fluid game.”
Charlton is also a guard on the Port Townsend basketball team.
Andrus is a multisport athlete, as well.
The sophomore played quarterback, running back and defensive back for the Riders football team, and split the season between the varsity and JV basketball teams this winter as a guard.
But before this season, he hadn’t played soccer since he was in fourth grade.
Andrus is so unfamiliar with the game that he was unaware the magnitude of Saturday’s accomplishment.
“I didn’t realize it was such a big deal until after the game,” he said.
Andrus was persuaded to join the soccer squad this year by Riders midfielder Abinet Hayden, who wanted his friend to join him on the pitch for his senior season.
Since Port Angeles graduated eight starters in 2012, the team had many openings, and Andrus nabbed one of the starting forward positions.
“You could see the raw talent and athletic ability,” Riders coach Chris Saari said.
“He’s potent as a forward. His speed definitely helps.”
Saari was especially impressed with Andrus’ third goal, a free kick from outside the box that hit the bottom of the crossbar.
“You can’t get much better than that,” Saari said.
Andrus surprised himself with that goal.
“I didn’t think I could kick it that hard,” he said.
Andrus, who also tallied an assist on Saturday, admitted feeling nervous before his first-ever high school soccer game.
He also said he was unsure of what role he would play.
“I didn’t think about playing offense,” Andrus said.
“I thought I would mostly help out on defense.”
As an attacking midfielder, Charlton’s role with the Redskins was clear going into the season.
“Goals are expected from [his position],” Shively said.
“He better be scoring goals.”
Charlton fulfilled his duty again Tuesday night with another goal in Port Townsend’s 3-1 win over Klahowya, which seems like an off-night compared to his debut.
At 2-0, the Redskins find themselves atop the Olympic League standings.
It’s early in the season, but after Port Townsend went 0-7-1 in the league last year (1-11-2 overall), the team’s fast start to 2013 is itself an impressive feat.
Andrus, meanwhile, is looking to help Port Angeles overcome losing so many key contributors, including two-time All-Peninsula MVP Anthony Brandon.
Saari said Brandon also scored four goals in a game a few years ago.
“I don’t know that he ever had four goals and an assist, though,” Saari said.
Last modified: March 13. 2013 6:07PM