The Sequim Wolves’ season has come to an end, after a 3-0 loss to the Ridgefield Spudders in the first round of the 2A state playoffs on Nov. 12.
“It was a pretty tough and physical game, and it was closer than the final score looks like,” head coach Derek Vander Velde said after the game.
“The girls game into the game pretty confident, and played really well. They didn’t stop the entire 80 minutes.”
Despite that confidence and their performance the Wolves gave up a goal in the 30th minute when Ridgefield played a through ball that Sequim’s defense didn’t handle, allowing a Ridgefield attacker to hit a low right-footed shot into the corner of the net.
The Wolves’ woes were compounded shortly after that after starting defender Mary McAleer suffered what Vander Velde called a “pretty significant knock” and missed the rest of the game.
Sequim went into halftime with just a one-goal deficit to overcome.
“The girls really felt like they could come back at the half,” Vander Velde said. “So we shifted our formation and tactics a bit and planned some things out to work our way back.”
One of those moves Vander Velde had been proverbially keeping in his back pocket all season: moving star goalkeeper Olivia Hare to midfield, a position she’s very familiar with and in which she can utilize her size and athleticism.
Hare’s backup in goal, sophomore Addie Smith, had been solid limited action this season and she made several saves in the 15 minutes she was on the field. However, a penalty kick was awarded to Ridgefield in the 72nd minute — one that Vander Velde said that neither he nor Spudders coach Robbie Trimbo felt should have been awarded, the Sequim coach said — and Smith was unable to save that, putting the Wolves down 2-0 with just a few minutes to go.
From there, the Spudders started throwing numbers forward to seal the match off, adding a third goal just before the final whistle.
“I’m still so proud of these girls,” Vander Velde said. “They had chances to give up, and they didn’t stop fighting until the final whistle.”
Seeing off seniors
The state tourney defeat was the final match for Sequim’s talented core of seniors, with Jessica Dietzman, Hope Glasser, Gabby Happe, Autumn Hilliard, Eden Johnson, Kristina Mingoy, Daisy Ryan and Alexis Smith all seeing their final action on the pitch for the Wolves.
Vander Velde made sure to heap the entire senior group with praise after the game.
“They’ve seen themselves grow in the last four years,” he said.
“They’ve seen the program grow, the reason this program has had this success is because of those girls. They bought into our philosophy and what we (the coaches) wanted to do, and it’s been great.
“They’re upset (at the result) of course, but they never stopped and they’re glad for what they’ve accomplished. They’ve shown incredible resilience this last couple of years — that’s not an easy thing to do by any means — (and) getting to state two years in a row was a great honor.”
Glasser and junior Abby Schroeder wound up with eight goals apiece to lead the team. Ryan had six and Dietzman added three.