Not many teams are still undefeated in the world of high school soccer in late April.
The Bellevue Wolverines kept their unbeaten streak alive courtesy of a 2-0 win against the Juanita Rebels in a 3A KingCo matchup on April 25 at Bellevue High School. The Wolverines improved their overall record to 10-0-3 with the win while Juanita dropped to 2-7-3 overall. Bellevue junior forward Jed Michael recorded two goals (43rd minute, 75th minute), lifting the Wolverines to their 10th victory of the 2019 season.
Michael scored his first goal from nearly 25 yards away. His second and final goal came on a breakaway along the right side of the field. Michael carried the ball before unleashing a shot on the ground that found the bottom left corner of the net.
Bellevue head coach Steve Zakuani said Michael’s engine never stops on the soccer field.
“He is a kid who runs so much. He is the first player I have ever told to run less. When I see him get rewarded like that, it is incredible. The first goal (from 25 yards out) was just magical. He won us the game tonight. We’re really happy for him,” Zakuani said.
Michael was thrilled to put the game away with the final goal of the night in the 75th minute of play.
“I knew if I could get a big first touch around the guy (Juanita defender) that I could beat him down the line with my speed. I get a lot of those chances every game but I haven’t been finishing them recently. To put in one like that feels good,” Michael said.
The Wolverines, who won just five games during the 2018 season, are benefiting greatly from Zakuani’s coaching style. Zakuani wants his team to limit its dribbling while maintaining possession of the ball as much as possible during every single match.
“Our new coach is a superstar,” Michael said of Zakuani. “We are playing hard and are rallying around him. It is a team effort more than anything.”
Zakuani knew he inherited a talented team on the first day of practice in March.
“From day one, I wanted to raise the level of belief before we ever played a game. I said it could be a special year and the guys have proved me right,” Zakuani said. “I saw the talent in this group and it was my job as a coach to give them the right ideas but they are the ones who are executing. We want to win a state championship. I’m not afraid to say it. I would put my guys against any squad in Washington.”