In their final eight games of the 2009 season, Sequim's Wolves allowed just one goal.
But one goal is all it takes to fall from glory.
Sequim dropped a 1-0 decision in double overtime to Bellingham's Red Raiders on May 19 in the first round of the class 2A state playoffs at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
After a defensive standoff for 80 minutes of regulation and nearly another 10 of two five-minute overtimes, it looked as if the Wolves and Red Raiders were headed toward a shootout.
But Bellingham's Tristan Bosman took a long pass from Raider Alex Paige with nearly no time left and beat Sequim keeper Matt Bedinger for the clincher.
"We did a good job holding them the first half," Sequim coach Dave Brasher said, after the Red Raiders had the wind at their backs for the first 40 minutes.
With the wind advantage in the second half, Sequim got a golden opportunity for a score at about the 50-minute mark when senior forward David LaBeaume nearly poked in a score, but wound up colliding with Bellingham senior keeper Brandon Strong.
"We were just starting to roll (but) we never really got rolling after that," Brasher said.
Strong was hurt on the play and, after a 25-minute delay, he had to be removed by stretcher.
"We said we had to pick it
up and win for him," Bosman told the Bellingham Herald.
Bedinger, the Sequim keeper, made a sterling save on a crossing shot to preserve the 0-0 tie with little time left in regulation.
Brasher said he was comfortable heading into a penalty kick situation and had a couple of substitutes ready to enter the game for penalty kick eligibility when the winning goal was scored.
Bellingham's Paige took the ball down the right side and at 18 yards out made a hard,
low cross to Bosman near the left post, just beyond the reach of a Sequim defender.
Bosman, six yards out, snuck it by Bedinger.
Brasher said the Red Raiders may have been better prepared after playing a double-elimination district tourney to get to state while Sequim had just two games in the past 13 days.
"We had sat for a long time, he said. "I think they were fresher as far as playing together. Their league is really strong."
All three seeds from Bellingham's Northwest District won their first round state playoff games.
Sequim finishes 13-4-1 on the season, making only their second state playoff appearance in school history.
LaBeaume led the Wolves in scoring this spring with eight goals, followed by Nick Camporini and Erik Huston with five each.
The Wolves missed a chance to avenge their 2004 state playoff first round loss; Cheney, the squad that beat Sequim in a 6-5 shootout that year, beat Ridgefield in the first round last Tuesday and played Bellingham on Saturday in the quarterfinals.
"The kids played great," Brasher said. "It was a fun group. They played hard (and) played together real well at the end."
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.