A trio of well-timed counter attacks spelled doom for Sequim’s boys soccer squad in their state opener.
Sequim junior Ryan Tolberd had a pair of headers for scores, but Woodland’s Jackson Finn notched a hat trick with a score just before halftime and two second-half scores for a 3-2 Woodland win in the opening round of the state 2A tournament on May 15 in Port Angeles, ending Sequim’s record-breaking season.
The Wolves (15-2-2), who notched their first undefeated league campaign earlier this year, ended their season with a pair of heart-breaking decisions: a 1-0 loss on penalty kicks to Fife in the West Central District championship on May 11, and the loss to Woodland (13-4-2).
“At state every little chance you have to take,” Sequim coach Dave Brasher said. “They capitalized on all three of their good chances.”
Sequim jumped out to the early lead when Tolberd took a pass from sophomore Eli Gish and netted a score at 29 minutes.
The Wolves looked to go into halftime with the lead but Finn, a sophomore, found a crease in the Wolves’ defense and slipped a shot past SHS keeper Navy Thomas-Brenske in stoppage time just before the intermission whistle.
“(If) we could have taken that one-goal into halftime it would have been different,” Brasher said.
In a seesaw second half, the Beavers got another score from Finn on a play that was initially negated by a line judge but overruled and allowed by the referee at the 54-minute mark.
Finn added a third score at the 67-minute mark for a 3-1 Woodland lead.
“That 23 (Finn) is a pretty strong striker,” Brasher said.
A desperate Sequim squad rallied for a score on a set play at 72 minutes when Gish found Adrian Funston, who headed it to Tolberd for another header score, trimming Woodland’s lead to one.
In the waning moments Tolberd had another header that Woodland keeper Alexis Lopez snagged, Gish chipped a shot wide right, and SHS exchange student Mathys Tanche had a deep drive and hard shot on goal that Lopez grabbed for a key save to secure Woodland’s win.