For Mountlake Terrace Hawk freshman Benjamin Forder, it was a debut he will never forget.
Forder scored with less than six minutes to go in the match and lifted the Hawks to a 1-1 draw with the Ballard Beavers on Saturday in the 2016 boys’ soccer season opener for both squads.
Forder stole an errant pass by the Ballard defensive back four, darted toward the Beaver goal and slipped a shot beneath the outstretched arms of goalkeeper Lucas Wood for the score.
Forder saw limited action coming off the bench Saturday at Edmonds Stadium, but made the time he did play count.
“We told him, ‘it’s not how many minutes you play, it’s making the most of the minutes you’re in.’ And he did that. It was great,” Terrace Coach George Dremousis said.
The Beavers had taken a 1-0 lead earlier in the second half when junior Payton Lawson powered a shot into the lower left-hand corner of the Terrace goal in the 52nd minute. But it was the only score Ballard could muster against the bend-but-don’t-break defense of the Hawks, giving the team an opportunity against last year’s 3A third-place-in-state finisher.
“We’ll take it,” Dremousis said of the draw. “Ballard was in the final four last year and they’re supposed to, again, be the cream of the crop in the Metro League, so it was a good barometer for us. We played well.”
It was the Terrace defense that not only played well, but at times spectacularly. Senior goalkeeper Genaro Ruiz made six saves in the match, four coming in the final 16 minutes.
“I thought I played pretty good, except for the one goal,” Ruiz said. “It went in the far corner. If I had been a little faster off my line I think I would have got it.”
Ruiz made critical saves in the 64th minute off a shot by Ballard’s Isle Raftery, a minute later off a drive by Raul Rivera-Vargas, and in the 77th minute off a shot by Thomas Hurley.
Ruiz’s final save, in the match’s final minute, came as he dove to his right to stop a volley from close range by Rivera-Vargas.
The Terrace defense also benefitted when, in the 78th minute, a header by the Beavers’ Max Berner-Hays bounced off the crossbar and out of harms’ way.
Ruiz praised his defensive line and midfield for helping to limit Ballard’s opportunity at goal. “My defense was pretty good,” he said. “We kept in it and I’m proud of my teammates.”
The Hawks (0-0-1) will hit the road for their next match on Tuesday, Mar. 15, against the Redmond Mustangs (1-0-0), a 3-0 winner over Juanita on Saturday. First kick at Redmond High School is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.
Prep Boys Soccer: Ballard at Mountlake Terrace, Mar. 12
Ballard 1 0 — 1
Terrace 0 1 — 1
Payton Lawson (Ballard) in 15th minute
Benjamin Forder (Mountlake Terrace) in 74th minute
Yellow cards: Ballard 1; Mountlake Terrace 1
Records: Mountlake Terrace 0-0-1; Ballard 0-0-1
Mountlake Terrace next match: versus Redmond, Tuesday, Mar. 15, 7:30 p.m. at Redmond High School
–Story and photos by Doug Petrowski