Boys soccer: Riders win rivalry match vs. Wolves

Olympic League standings (as of March 25)

Kingston 4-0-0 5-1-0

North Kitsap 4-1-0 5-1-0

Port Angeles 3-1-0 5-1-0

Sequim 2-2-0 3-2-1

Bremerton 1-3-0 2-5-0

North Mason 1-3-0 1-3-1

Olympic 0-5-0 0-7-0

A close loss to a league powerhouse and a shutout defeat at the hands of their rivals on their home pitch last has the Wolves in the middle of the pack in the Olympic League.

Sequim (2-2-0 in league play, 3-2-1 overall) start the week strong with a 3-0 blanking of North Mason.

Sophomore Adrian Funston notched a pair of goals while SHS keepers Nick Janikic and Navy Thomas-Brenske combined for the shutout.

Hayuk Minano scored Sequim’s first goal when he was hauled down in the penalty box for a penalty kick in the eighth minute, which he converted. The score remained 1-0 at the half and well into the second half.

The Wolves finally got some breathing room in the 53rd minute when Eli Gish made a cross to Minano, whose shot was blocked, but Funston booted in the rebound for a goal.

In the 60th minute, Liam Harris made a pass to Ryan Tolberd, who was tackled on the play, and Funston was in position again as he took the pass and netted his second goal. Harris picked up an assist on the play.

Sequim coach Dave Brasher said the Sequim defense didn’t allow a single North Mason shot in the second half, as the Wolves ended up outshooting the Bulldogs 16-5 for the game.

Looking to notch a win against a traditional league power at North Kitsap on March 21, Sequim saw a late lead dissipate in a 2-1 loss, as the Wolves allowed two Vikings’ goals in the final three minutes of the game.

“Stealing it from us is a good way to put it,” Sequim coach Dave Brasher said. “I think we played our best game of the season.”

Sequim out-shot the host Vikings 9-2 in the first half but could not break through, despite near-misses from Minano, Harris and Tolberd.

It was Minano, Sequim’s exchange student, who broke the scoreless tie; he was fouled and converted a penalty kick in the 56th minute.

Brasher said his team tired in the final portion of the contest.

The Vikings earned a free kick in the 78th minute and converted when the ball was struck into the Sequim defensive wall and trickled into the goal. North Kitsap scored the eventual game-winning goal in stoppage time on a header off of a corner kick.

“We feel like we can play with the big boys at the top of the league,” Brasher said. “We had it handled and let it slip away.”

Sequim capped the week looking to score a victory against their rivals from Port Angeles in a day game on March 24 on the Wolves’ home filed, but it was the Roughriders who came away with a dominating, 4-0 victory — the first of three meetings between the two sides this season.

Ben Schneider was instrumental for Port Angeles, setting up Andrew St. George for the Riders’ first goal and finding the net twice on free kicks in the second half.

The Wolves opened the game with the better of the scoring opportunities but saw forward Harris sky a chance over the goal post in the eighth minute and Tolberd’s on-target shot from close in saved away by Port Angeles goalkeeper Lorenzo DeLaTorre.

The Riders broke through in the 21st minute when Schneider gained possession of the ball and lofted it over the Sequim defense to an on-rushing St. George.

Port Angeles took a 1-0 lead into halftime and withstood Sequim’s offensive attack in the opening minutes of the second half.

Wolves’ defender Addison Berg was whistled for a foul in the Sequim half of the field in the 48th minute and the Riders took advantage. Schneider stepped to the ball and quickly uncorked a deep bomb of a free kick that caught Thomas-Brenske, the Wolves’ goalkeeper, unawares for a 2-0 lead.

The Riders quickly added two insurance goals — Schneider receiving credit for a free kick from the left sideline that eventually trickled to the far post in the 54th minute — and Andrew Methner scoring off of a Kenny Soule throw-in in the 59th minute.

Sequim threatened to score on a couple of chances in the final 10 minutes, but Port Angeles’ defense stood tall and preserved the team’s second straight shutout.

“I think they just were the aggressor,” Brasher said. “They kind of took us out of the game by winning balls. In the first half I think they won most of the 50/50 balls. And a couple of quick free kicks got us in the second half. We were a little off all day.”

The two teams will meet for a friendly match on the turf at Peninsula College on Saturday, April 7, and will play in a league match at Civic Field on Tuesday, April 24.

Looking ahead

Sequim was scheduled to host Kingston on March 27.

The Wolves are at Bremerton on March 30. After the April 7 friendly versus Port Angeles, the Wolves host Olympic on April 10.

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