EHS vs La Salle man soccer

Ellensburg midfielder Ryan Stinson (13) battles the La Salle defense for control of the ball during boys varsity soccer action last season.

The expectations don’t change for Ellensburg High School boys soccer coach Mark Timko.

Compete in every game, make the playoffs — and have a deep run at state.

“I think we’re really talented, we have a lot of seniors on the roster, and we are also complemented by some really talented juniors and sophomores,” Timko said. “We should be — in my mind — at the top of the table when the season is done.”

Timko is in his second year coaching for the Bulldogs. They finished 6-8 overall, 3-6 in the Central Washington Athletic Conference last season. Ellensburg placed eighth out of the 10 teams.

But Timko believes this group has an opportunity to put a banner in the Ellensburg gymnasium for the 2019 campaign. The Bulldogs have 14 rostered seniors and of the 23 players — 17 are upperclassmen.

“I feel like Ellensburg soccer is in that position this year, where we have a really talented core group of kids which I don’t think comes along very often,” Timko said. “We have to capitalize on that — I have to make them capitalize on that.”

Ellensburg has many key returners. Timko’s son, Connor, is a senior goalkeeper who will be playing at Embry-Riddle University in Prescott, Ariz. next year.

Out of the backfield are senior’s Zach Gabriel and Fisher Bachman-Rhodes. Senior’s Joahan Baldovinos, Tizoc Barbosa and junior Ryan Stinson are notable midfielders. Stinson completed the “hat trick” versus Wapato High School last Tuesday.

Of the 14 games the Bulldogs competed in last season, 10 were decided by a single goal. Of those 10, Ellensburg won five.

“In the moments that mattered, the other team had the moments,” Timko said. “Being a defensive stop or a goal at the end. And this year has to be our moments. The moments that matter, they have to be ours.

“It’s been my message all fall, all summer. Now we have to have the moments. And if we can accumulate moments, we’re going to be very dangerous.”

Timko carries a defensive mindset to win games. The Bulldogs allowed a total of 25 goals last season which was tied fourth in the CWAC behind Selah High School (16), Othello High School (20) and Toppenish High School (22).

The most goals Ellensburg allowed in a game was four to Toppenish. But they kept three opponents scoreless and confined three opponents to one goal.

Offensively, the Bulldogs ranked eighth in goals scored (20).

“I tend to be a defensive minded coach. Let’s keep games close and counter attack,” Timko said. “It’s kind of my style, but we do have to compliment that more with goal scoring. … There’s not going to be a game we’re not in this year. We’re going to be competitive every game — and we have to get a goal or two here and there.”

This season, Ellensburg sits a 2-1 with victories over Wapato (5-0) and Pullman High School (1-0). It heads to Royal High School today at 6 p.m. to face Othello.

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