Last spring, Sequim's boys soccer squad boasted a defense that hardly allowed a thought of giving up a score, much less an opportunity.
It took Bellingham, Sequim's opponent in the state 2A tournament's first round, two overtimes to finally break through, ending a seven-game shutout streak.
So consider there might be a little pressure to live up to that kind of billing in 2010. But Sequim coach Dave Brasher is optimistic with his newest pack of Wolves.
"The team boasts a group of competitors that want to win no matter what it takes," Brasher says.
After losing two top defenders to graduation, the Wolves bring back all-league defenders Austin Sanford (first team) and Jordy Shearer (second). Joining them on the defense are David Lopes, Irons Ring and David Richards.
The Wolves bring back their midfield from 2009, anchored by seniors Zane Carey (all-league first team in 2009) and Daniel Servin in the middle. Junior Aldo Garcia and sophomore Evan Watkins - the lone freshman starter last season - occupy the wings for the Wolves. Both scored four goals last season.
Up front, junior Nick Camporini looks to improve upon a season that saw him tally five goals, tied for second on the team. Brasher looks to a young trio of Saul Flores, Waylon Lam and Mitch McHugh to make up for the loss of the Wolves' top scorer from 2009 (David LaBeaume,
Key reserves include Jerry Azanza, Flores and Beau Little.
The biggest change may be in goal. After graduating all-leaguer Matt Bedinger in June, the Wolves look to John Textor, the lanky, versatile athlete who has earned all-league nods in football and basketball. Textor played for the Wolves' soccer squad in 2008 but didn't play last spring.
In 2009, the Wolves opened with a 4-0 mark before getting blanked by Kingston and North Kitsap in the span of six days. Sequim was nearly untouchable after that, winning or earning a tie in their final eight games of the regular season by a combined score of 22-3.
Sequim then knocked off Washington 1-0 in the district championship before falling in the first round at the state 2A tournament, a 1-0 double-overtime heartbreaker to Bellingham.
Brasher expects this team to will themselves to another successful season.
"This team has fun playing the game and may be the most knowledgeable group Sequim has seen in awhile," Brasher says. "They expect to be near the top of the 2A standings and get back to the state tournament in May."
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.