Sequim brushed off a tough couple of weeks of results with a resounding 5-0 win over Kingston on Oct. 3.
“That feels a lot better,” SHS head coach Derek Vander Velde said after the match.
“We really needed that.”
The win came on the heels of three consecutive tough losses to North Mason, North Kitsap and Olympic, leaving the Wolves with just one league win coming into the Thursday night matchup with the Buccaneers.
Getting such a big win after such a run was a big relief for the team, Vander Velde said, and will help them get ready for some big matchups in the next couple of weeks.
The Wolves got off to a fast start in the match, getting their first shot on target just five minutes into the match, and scoring their opening goal just over a minute later. Jessica Dietzman tapped in a loose ball in front of goal after the Buccaneers’ defense failed to clear a Wolves throw-in.
Sequim used that momentum to dominate the match from there after a back-and-forth opening, starting to hold the vast majority of possession and punish Kingston’s lack of accuracy on longer passes and set pieces to create numerous attacks off unforced turnovers.
The Wolves’ second goal was set up this way, with senior forward Eden Johnson lashing home a shot from the edge of the box after running onto a loose pass from a Kingston defender in the final third.
“I just saw the ball pop loose and knew I had a chance,” Johnson said. “I wanted to make the most of it, and when the keeper came out for it I made the most of it.”
Junior midfielder Abby Schroeder scored in the 32nd minute after using her pace and athleticism to create several dangerous attacks for the Wolves in the first half. She pounced on a loose pass among Kingston’s defenders and ran straight at the Bucs’ keeper before finishing smoothly to the near post.
Schroeder added a second goal under similar circumstances early in the second half, bringing her season total to a team-leading six goals.
Sophomore forward Hannah Wagner tallied a goal several minutes later, capitalizing on Kingston’s inability to clear a corner kick. Wagner rose up to meet Natalya James’ ball back into the box to head it home from close range for the Wolves’ fifth and final goal of the night.
Wagner nearly had several other goals, lashing the crossbar in the first half and just missing two headers by late in the match.
Wagner was also a big part of many of Sequim’s more dangerous attacks, creating numerous turnovers in Kingston’s third of the field and constantly finding holes in Kingston’s defense for Sequim attackers to feed her the ball.
“Hannah was really great tonight, and she’s been so impressive lately,” Vander Velde said after the match. “She’s really grown this season.”
The Wolves’ defense also drew praise from Vander Velde, who said that despite Kingston struggling to get forward in possession, his defenders made sure they rarely got scoring chances.
“It’s easy to lose focus back there in games like this,” Vander Velde said. “But they made sure nothing really happened.”
SHS defenders Gabby Happe, Amara Sayer, Kristina Mingoy and Autumn Hilliard, along with James in the midfield, kept Kingston to just three decent scoring chances, only one of which resulted in a shot on target.
That win came two days after a tough loss to North Mason on Oct. 3, a 3-1 defeat on the road that saw the Wolves go up 1-0 early in the second half, then give up three unanswered goals to take the loss.
“We really controlled the ball well for most of the match,” Vender Velde said after the game.
“Then I thought we could get it done when we scored after halftime. But they have a really good attacker who (Kristina Mongoy) was doing well against and swapped her to the other side. That gave us a lot of trouble, and they scored a couple quick goals after that.”
The Wolves weren’t able to recover after that setback, giving up a third before the end of the match. That kind of result helped fuel the drive that saw the Wolves through their match against Kingston.
The Wolves hosted the Olympic League-leading Port Angeles Rough Riders on Oct. 8. Results were not available at press time. They then head to Bremerton on Oct. 10 and Vashon for a non-league game on Oct. 12.
Sequim hosts Olympic on Oct. 15 before two road matches: Oct. 17 at North Kitsap and Oct. 22 at Port Townsend.