PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles sophomore Dayton Williams hadn’t done that before — curl a goal into a far corner from such an extreme angle or perfectly connect on a one-touch volley off a corner kick — but now the Roughriders’ sophomore has an idea of what he’s capable of on the soccer field.
Williams unleashed a four-goal second-half scoring barrage, finding the answers Port Angeles needed to keep Klahowya and its talented striker Michael Divano at bay in a 5-3 win Saturday at Wally Sigmar Field at Peninsula College.
“Those were A-level goals, every one of them was picture perfect,” Riders coach Chris Saari said.
“Off the post and in with so much power. One of them was bent far post. I think he’s just getting some confidence and realizing what he can do. The volley — I don’t think you can hit it that much better. He’s just a sophomore — he didn’t get to play last year — but he would have been a starter.”
And Port Angeles needed the scores with Divano, a player who has trained in Spain and has professional aspirations, scoring his own second-half hat trick after arriving from a club team match just before halftime.
The Riders held a 1-0 lead at the break after Williams found Josiah Long for a pretty goal in the eighth minute. That lead grew to 2-0 within the first minute of the second half as Williams committed some thievery in the Eagles end and finished with a powerful goal.
“They made a mistake on the pass to the center, and I stole it from their centerback and got a goal off the left post,” Williams said.
Divano put Klahowya on the board in the 53rd and Williams answered in the 64th, taking a pass from Nova Raupp and sending it curling left-to-right to the far right post.
“That was pretty special because I’ve never curved the ball from that angle before,” Williams said.
Divano answered three minutes later on a ball Port Angeles misjudged to pull within 3-2.
“He’s a quality player and we knew he had scored against Sequim twice late,” Saari said. “And we talked about it, but we just didn’t track him well enough. A couple of balls bounce off people’s shins and right to him and once he gets in behind you it’s hard to catch up. We kept letting them back in the game, but we kept having an answer.”
Williams responded almost immediately, first-touch volleying a corner kick sent in by Hayden Desser in the 68th minute and rounding out his deluge with another goal off a Desser corner in the 77th minute.
“I’ve never done that one before [scoring on a volley off a corner kick],” Williams said. “I was really excited after that one.
And his last goal? “I just went to the right and powered it to the bottom right corner.”
Divano added a goal in the final moments to wrap up a seven-goal second half.
Williams said the game changed when Divano came on as the Riders were forced to adjust to a completely different game.
“His pace, for one,” Williams said. “I don’t think we were ready for how fast he was and his ball skills. In the beginning I feel like they were focused on just passing the ball to try and score, and when he came on, they could just play the ball forward to him and let him run to it.
“We let off a little bit in the second half defensively, but overall offense, defense, this was a pretty special game.”
Saari also had praise for Long’s play, as well as defenders Sean Rankin, Simon Hare and midfielder Damon Gundersen.
“Josiah getting the first one,” Saari said. “He’s working really hard, turning his man and getting crosses in. And Sean at the back. Damon [Gundersen]’s work rate is always hard. Simon played the full game at left back and did pretty well.”
The win capped a 3-0 week for Port Angeles (3-2), which will travel to Kingston on Thursday.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected]