Warrior men's soccer edge Edmonds, Skagit Valley

No. 1-ranked WWCC defeats Edmonds 1-0 and Skagit Valley 4-3 in weekend play.

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WALLA WALLA - Freshman fullback Louis Poeppel banged home a point-blank shot with 2:31 left in the second half Saturday afternoon to lift No. 1-ranked Walla Walla Community College to a 1-0 victory over Edmonds in an NWAACC men's soccer match at Warrior Field.

WWCC started its weekend with a 4-3 win over Skagit Valley on Friday.

The pair of home triumphs upped Walla Walla's records to 5-0 in division play and 8-1 overall.

WWCC midfielder Mikey Luhrs got loose for a point-blank header just 90 seconds after Saturday's opening whistle. But his try was stopped by Edmonds' starting goalie Kenny Hill, who exited from the match just 10 minutes into the first half due to an injury.

Enter midfielder Essa Jallow, who replaced Hill and helped keep the Tritons close with one save after another.

Two of his bigger stops occurred after halftime. He punched a Marco Acevedo shot from the top of the 18-yard box over the cross bar and stoned both a free kick from Mikey Ramos and subsequent try off the rebound by Nick Wood in the 79th minute.

A couple of minutes earlier, it appeared that Luhrs had given the Warriors a 1-0 lead off a right cross from Ramos. But an offside call nullified the goal.

Acevedo almost broke the ice with a free kick in the 86th minute. But his attempt from 30 yards out rattled off the goal post.

On the game-winning sequence, Ramos fired a straight-on shot from the roof of the 18 that Jallow stopped, but Poeppel was positioned on the door step to put away the rebound.

Edmonds had one last chance with just over a minute to go. Initially, it looked as if a corner kick led to the game-tying goal, but it was waved off due to a foul call in the goalie box.

Paul Herrera gave Walla Walla a 1-0 lead on Friday with an unassisted goal in the 18th minute.

After the Cardinals equalized at the 31-minute mark, Ramos tallied in the 35th minute and converted a free kick 41 minutes into the first half. The latter goal sent the Warriors into halftime with a 3-1 edge.

Nick Wood put a Ramos assist to good use four minutes after intermission to increase the Walla Walla lead to three goals.

It proved to be an important goal because Skagit Valley, which played most of the match a man down, scored twice in the final 25 minutes and came close to tying the game in the closing seconds.

"With these guys, it's not interesting if it's not close," WWCC coach Chad Bodnar said. "It took them 80 minutes to get going (Saturday). We're a little banged up, so the guys have to get results and keep moving forward."

The Warriors host Highline at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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