Decatur soccer team shuts out Federal Way

The Decatur soccer team kept pounding on the door and finally got in en route to a 3-0 win over Federal Way on Tuesday.

The Gators took seven shots on goal before Decatur senior Nick McCluskey scored in the 31st minute of the game when his shot deflected off a Federal Way defender and into the net. McCluskey scored again six minutes later, just before halftime, when he dribbled around three defenders and scored his second goal of the night.

McCluskey’s goals filled the void left by the absence of leading scorer Alex Chursky, who was playing with the Canadian U-20 national team in Germany. Chursky returned on Friday and should be back in the lineup this week.

“I just felt in the groove, I guess,” McCluskey said. “It’s hard with out Alex, but we’re adjusting. We’ve handled it well.”

Federal Way senior goalkeeper Ryan Davis made 10 saves to keep the game close.

“It’s tough,” said Davis, who plays on a club team with many of the Decatur players. “They’re a good bunch of players and they know how to play together. It’s fun to see a different, more competitive side of them than I see in practice. This is where it counts against each other.”

Federal Way’s first scoring opportunity came just after halftime when it was awarded an indirect kick from 10 yards out, but two shots were deflected and finally cleared away by the Decatur defense.

McCluskey was instrumental in Decatur’s third goal when his corner kick was headed by a Federal Way player into his own goal in the 64th minute.

The Eagles almost scored with 12 minutes left when Kevin Popich crossed the ball to Devin Loughlin, who headed the ball off the top of the crossbar.

With a few minutes left in the game, Federal Way defender Marcus Reese made a nice save when he cleared the ball from the goal line.

While Decatur is destined for the playoffs, Federal Way is looking to wrap up the season with a few wins.

“We have four games left and we’d like to win three out of the last four,” said Davis, who will play soccer next year at Westminster College in Salt Lake City.

Federal Way is 3-9 right now, but has continued to play hard every game.

“I commend John for getting his guys to play this way,” Decatur coach Jim McAlister said. “They haven’t quit on him. Davis and Popich can play with anyone in the league, but they’re a young team. He’s my pick for Coach of the Year.”

Federal Way plays at Spanaway Lake on May 2 then at Bethel on May 4 to finish the regular season.

Decatur has two regular season games left before the South Puget Sound League playoffs start on May 8.

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