Girls soccer: Sequim’s season comes to a close in state opener

The Sequim girls soccer team’s remarkable 2023 season came to an end on Nov. 8 with a 9-0 loss to Ridgefield in the opening match of the state 2A tournament.

“They were better than us,” Sequim coach Ken Garling said. “They were bigger, faster and stronger. But our girls didn’t give up.”

Garling said Ridgefield, a No. 7 seed, got two quick goals to get up on the Wolves, then scored another two goals off corner kicks.

“It was a one-two punch we just couldn’t dig ourselves out of,” Garling said.

Still, it was a remarkable season for the Wolves, who set a school record with 13 victories. The team finished 13-5 and won two games at the bi-district postseason tournament, finishing third.

The victory that sent the Wolves to state was a penalty kick shootout won when goalkeeper Kalli Grove stopped two penalty kicks.

“There were a lot of positives on the season,” Garling said. “I told the girls that ‘this was just one game. We accomplished a lot this season’.”

The Wolves will get at least two players on the Olympic League first team with scoring machine Taryn Johnson a serious league MVP candidate. Johnson, who owns the Sequim school record for goals scored, is a senior and moving on to play college soccer at Minnesota State, Mankato.

This was a senior-heavy team with five players graduating — Johnson, Jennyfer Gomez, Kaia Lestage, Mikiah Winter, and Eve Breithaupt. Garling said the Wolves have plenty of talented freshmen such as Olive Bridge and other returning players such as Grove, Raimey Brewer, Ivy Barrett, Libby Turella and others.

The Port Angeles girls were also knocked out of the state tournament in the opening game by No. 1 seed West Valley-Spokane, as was Olympic League champ North Kitsap.