PHS soccer starts playoff run with strong win

Two players score twice each en route to 5-0 win



PHS players celebrate after a Clarens Dollin goal, May 8.

BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor

Pullman High School (16-1, 10-0 GSL) soccer won the Greater Spokane League trophy with an undefeated Conference season. With that momentum, they hosted their first playoff game against John R Rogers High School and won behind strong pace. 

The Greyhounds won 5-0, with goals coming from three players and four of the goals coming in the first half of play. 

Clarens Dollin started the scoring with two goals early in the game, the first coming off a play in which he dribbled past multiple defenders and split the gap between the goalie and one of the last defensemen. 

Clarens Dollin shoots between Rogers GK and defenseman to score, May 8.

The second goal from the sophomore came off a fantastic dribble-to-cross into the box from Phillip Kirchoff.

Philipp Kirchhoff dribbles pass the defense and passes into the center for a Greyhound goal, May 8.

After Claren’s two goals, his brother Carlens Dollin got into the action with his own goal, one of nearly 30 he has on the season, putting him near the top of the school’s all-time single-season bests. 

The final goal of the half came from captain Lukas Wexler, his first and only of the game. 

Despite the strong showing on paper, head coach Doug Winchell was unhappy with the execution of plays, or lack thereof, from his offense in the first half. 

Winchell said that rather than finding each other with passes and a strong offensive attack, the team was playing with a more individual-minded attack where each player was trying to have their moment. 

Based on the performance on the pitch, Winchell decided to sit a majority of the starters to begin the second half, a decision that saw the players sit for over 20 minutes. 

“We did not play effectively in the first half, just too slow and not going to the ball,” he said. That’s why the starters sat for the first 20 minutes of the second half, and when they came back in, we started playing a little more effectively.” 

Despite seeing just a single shot hitting the back of the net in the second half, Winchell said the team played more efficiently and was pinging the ball around the pitch with more purpose. 

That final goal came off the leg of Carlens in the 75th minute, matching his brother with a second goal of his own. The goal came after Carlens got past the defensive line with his speed, narrowly avoiding an offside penalty, and had a near-open net to work with.

Despite only scoring once, the team had several great opportunities that either narrowly missed the net or had fantastic defensive plays to stop. One of those plays came as the brothers looked for a passing play but the pass ended just out of reach for a shot. 

The two have connected on similar plays several times this season, but this one just did not land properly. 

“When the brothers are in sync, it is awesome. When they are not they only yell at each other and it’s pretty interesting. There’s that brotherly thing but it’s awesome,” Winchell said. 

Following the win, the Greyhounds host their next playoff game, this time set for 4 p.m. Wednesday against West Valley High School.