Shaun Scott, staff photo Newport Knights sophomore soccer player Ryan Smith scored his first-ever varsity goal in the 25th minute against the Bellevue Wolverines. Newport defeated Bellevue 2-1 in the season opener for both teams on March 13 at Newport High School in Factoria.

Knights conquer Wolverines in season opener

Newport Knights boys soccer head coach Marcus Hahnemann was pleased with his team’s performance in their first matchup of the 2017 season on the soccer pitch.

The Knights earned a 2-1 win against the Bellevue Wolverines in a non-league matchup between schools separated by a mere 4.5 miles on March 13 at Newport High School in Factoria. Newport got on the board in the 25th minute off of a goal by sophomore Ryan Smith. Knights’ senior Hunter Hahnemann unleashed a hard shot on goal which deflected off Bellevue’s goalie. Smith was there for the rebound and put the ball in the back of the net, giving the Knights a 1-0 lead. Newport extended its lead to 2-0 when Knights sophomore Will Carlson scored in the 55th minute. With three minutes left in regulation, Bellevue’s Sebastian Scrivner scored, cutting the Knights lead to just one goal. In the final three minutes of play, Newport’s defense prevented Bellevue from tying the game.

“It was a great performance. It was great to see. We played all sorts of different formations and had different guys in different positions. The young guys really stepped up today. It was a really good game for us,” Hahnemann said.

Smith, who scored the first goal of the game for the Knights in the first half, was focused on the ball after Hunter Hahnemann’s shot deflected off the Bellevue goalie.

“I was just looking to hit it right in between the defender and the goal-keeper. It was a great feeling for me because it was my first varsity goal. I’m excited to do more of that in the future,” Smith said.

Hahnemann was glad to see his defense hold up in the final minutes of regulation against Bellevue’s hard charging attempt to tie the game.

“I think we got a really good back four (defenders) and they look like they got it down. We had one mistake toward the end of the game that put a little bit of pressure on us but other than that it was a great performance from the guys. They did everything I asked them to do today which was awesome,” Hahnemann said. “It is one of those things where if you are never under pressure, you don’t know what it is like. It would had been nice to have a clean sheet (shutout) and I’m a little bit frustrated that we didn’t but at the same time you look at the positives of having a little bit of pressure.”

Smith said many of the players on the Knights and Wolverines rosters knew each other quite well.

“I have a lot of friends on that team so it is fun to play against them. I think we maintained our discipline and we got the result in the end which is always important,” he said. “We want to make the playoffs and we want to go far in the playoffs.”