NEA League foes
Colville High’s rapidly improving soccer team will face a pair of Northeast A League opponents this week in games that will go a long way toward determining the league champion and post-season pecking order.
Sure, it’s still early in the season, but in a minimalist league like the NEA, the Indians and head coach Dave Rarrick will get a pretty good idea by the weekend what the pecking order might be.
“The kids are playing well right now,” Rarrick said on Monday after CHS dispatched Clarkston for the second time this season last Saturday on the Colville High pitch. Back on March 29, the Indians (3-1-1) downed Riverside, 3-1.
In the contest against the Great Northern League Bantams (1-6), Colville’s Filipp Susin continued his strong play, dumping in three goals for CHS. The junior, this week’s Colville Benchwarmer’s CHS Athlete of the Week, also had a pair of assists.
Senior Luke Melvin scored Colville’s other two goals and All-NEA keeper Nevin Thompson registered his third shutout.
In the first half, Susin got Colville on the board at the eight-minute mark with his first goal on an assist from Melvin. Melvin got into the scoring column two-minutes later and Susin (on an assist from Melvin) made it 3-0 at the 23-minute mark of the first half. Melvin scored again at the 27-minute mark on another assist from Susin and the Indians were on cruise control.
Susin scored the game’s lone second half goal at the 68-minute mark on another assist from Melvin.
Thompson had eight saves in goal for CHS.
In the win over Riverside (1-3), Colville freshman Chris Benson scored the game’s only first half goal on an assist from Susin. Filipp Susin and Pavel Susin scored the CHS goals in the second half.
Colville had 12 shots on goal against the Rams. Riverside managed only two shots against Colville’s rugged defense.
Colville hosted Newport (0-3) on Tuesday and will travel to Lakeside (3-4) on Thursday in a 4 p.m. match-up of NEA boy’s soccer powers.
Colville will host Riverside in a non-league match-up Saturday at noon.
Rarrick is pleased with his team’s play across the board. The Indians are tough in goal with the lanky, long-armed Thompson and solid on the defensive side. Offensively, the Indians continue to evolve with Filipp Susin and Melvin leading the way.
“Filipp and Luke really put on a show passing,” Rarrick said of the win over Clarkston last Saturday on a rare sunny day in Colville. “As a team, we passed the ball really well. We continue to improve there…our possession is our strength right now. We are showing some great creativity.
“And we have six guys up front…anybody can score there.”
Rarrick says that Susin is one of the most knowledgeable players he has ever coached.
“He might know the game better than anyone I have ever coached,” Rarrick said, adding that “Filipp has put in a lot of time working on his game.”
Rarrick said his team isn’t taking anyone for granted this week. After all, CHS has a few goals besides the ones on the pitch this spring. Another NEA championship would be nice.
“The kids are playing with a lot of confidence right now…we are playing in control and improving every week,” Rarrick said. “That makes it a lot of fun.”
Photos courtesy of Jay Mitchell.