For the third straight year, Sequim boys soccer lost its opening playoff game.
The Wolves (8-4 in the Olympic League and 9-6-2 overall) were hoping to push into the West Central Districts tournament on Tuesday, May 12, in a pigtail game but White River came from behind to win 2-1 at Franklin Pierce Stadium.
White River lost its final regular season game to take the South Puget Sound League’s fifth seed for a shot of their own into the districts tournament. They defeated second seed Franklin Pierce 1-0 on May 14 and lost 2-1 after a penalty kick shootout with Kingston on May 16 but still earned a berth to the 2A state competition, which opened this week in Sumner.
Sequim had a lot of opportunities to win though, Wolves coach Dave Brasher said.
“They were doing all kinds of things to make it happen,” he said.
Thomas Winfield gave the Wolves the lead 28 minutes into the game after Christian Benson passed through defenders to Winfield at midfield who made some moves of his own for the goal.
However, in the second half, Brasher said the boys came out a little flat.
White River’s Sam Hatley scored on a header from a throw-in from Tyler Krebsbach three minutes into the second half.
Ten minutes later, Krebsbach kicked it in from the corner for another header for Christian Armstrong, giving White River the lead for good.
“The first 15 minutes of the second half was their only real offensive foray into our end,” Brasher said.
“After they scored, we were in their half of the field most the game and we had a lot of opportunities to put it in.”
Winfield and teammates had several shots on goal, Brasher said, but Winfield still was playing his way back into shape from an injury and some of his shots weren’t as sharp on Tuesday.
The Wolves weren’t beating themselves up about the loss though, Brasher said.
“It’s going to come for them,” he said. “It’s a real positive group. When it was over everyone just looked at each other. It was quite unbelievable.”
Last year, Sequim lost to Sumner 3-1 in the opening round of districts and they lost to Franklin Pierce 1-0 in 2013. They didn’t qualify for districts in 2012.
“It was a great year,” Brasher said. “From the players to the assistant coaches Jake Hughes and Kenny Garling, it was awesome. This team was a lot of fun.”
Sequim will see six seniors on varsity graduate this year with four of those starters — Eli Berg, Will Bitner, Jerry Bryan, Adrian Espinoza, Kyle Harrison and Christian Salas.
But Brasher said the future looks good.
“Liam Harris had a great year as a freshman and he’s looking promising,” he said.
For his standout players on the season, Brasher said Berg had a great year.
“He played nearly every minute of every game and that includes practice,” he said.
“The guys in the back — Patrick McCrorire, Christian Benson, Jerry Bryan and Will Bitner — all just played great. And we had great contribution from Cameron Chase who is another one who does a lot of the dirty work and goes unnoticed.”
Chase led all players with 11 points, seven goals and four assists while three boys earning 9 points each — Berg (two goals, seven assists), Espinoza (three goals, six assists) and McCrorie (two goals, seven assists).
Three boys had seven points each — Harrison (seven goals), Harris (four goals, three assists) and Winfield (seven goals) while Bitner had six points (one goal, five assists).