With just two players available on the bench thanks to injuries, illnesses and other school and family commitments, Sequim’s Wolves managed to knock off the Kingston Buccaneers on March 28 to finish the first half of the Olympic League schedule unbeaten.
Sequim (6-0-0 in league play, 6-0-2 overall) got two goals from Adrian Funston — one in the first half and another early in the second — to top the visiting Buccaneers, last year’s league champs, 4-2.
“We started three freshmen; I can’t remember the last time, if ever, that I started three freshmen,” Sequim coach Dave Brasher said.
After giving up a goal to Kingston junior Ben Hewett at the 27-minute mark, Sequim got the equalizer soon after when Ryan Tolberd found a streaking Funston, who beat the Buc keeper.
The teams remained at 1-1 until halftime.
“Our kids got excited at halftime and thought we could take them,” Brasher said. “They came out strong in second half and took the lead two minutes in.”
Soon after the second half whistle, Reid Parker launched a corner kick that Funston netted for a 2-1 Sequim lead.
Kingston tied the match at 70 minutes, but Sequim had the final answer with two late scores. With about five minutes remaining, Parker crossed a pass to the far left side to Kristian Mingoy who passed it back to Mike McAleer for a score from 18 yards out, Brasher said.
“It was a smoker and he really got a foot on it,” the Sequim coach said.
Freshman Christian Gonzalez scored the insurance goal just before the final whistle, with Tolberd adding his second assist.
Earlier in the week, Sequim got a scare but ultimately prevailed in a 2-1 win at North Mason on March 26.
McAleer scored on a free kick at 57 minutes, a score that proved to be the game-winner. McAleer struck the ball from about 25 feet out and put it in the upper left corner of the net, Brasher said.
The Wolves took an early lead over the Bulldogs after Tolberd took a pass from Parker and netted a goal, but North Mason quickly made a game of it, evening the game off a corner kick in the 19th minute.
“North Mason is a much improved team,” Brasher said. “They have a lot of speed and they play a quick counterattack game. They have some pretty quick, smallish midfielders that gave us a little difficulty.”
Sequim was outshot 9-4 by North Mason in the first half, but Brasher said the team made some adjustments and were more effective offensively after the break.
Brasher said Parker earned Man of the Match honors for his assist and play in midfield. Chris Morgan also played well at center back and that Funston was strong in midfield.
Following their spring break, the Wolves host rival Port Angeles on April 9; Sequim edged the Roughriders on 5-4 on March 12.
Sequim is at Bremerton on April 12 and hosts Olympic on April 16.