Sequim’s Wolves got a big lift on Oct. 24 when they beat North Mason 2-1 to take control of their playoff destiny, with senior winger Hope Glasser coming up big on Senior Night with two goals.
“I’m so happy we got out of there with a win,” Glasser said. “We were able to keep it together (after North Mason scored) and hold onto the win, and it feels so good.”
Head coach Derek Vander Velde said after the match, “This was the culmination of everything we’ve been working on this year.
“Everything I’ve asked these girls to do this year, they’ve done,” he added. “I’m really proud of them.”
The Wolves (6-5-0 in league play, 8-5-1 overall) had momentum on their side early in the match, getting the better of the attacking opportunities in the first few minutes. It was actually a counter attack, though, that saw Sequim break through to get on the scoreboard. Daisy Ryan jumped on a loose ball and ran up the left wing before centering the ball to the top of the box toward Alexis Smith. At the last second she turned aside and let it keep running for Glasser, who took a simple finish past Bulldogs goalkeeper Morgan Mihelich for a score 13 minutes into the match.
“I saw Daisy send that ball in and called for Alex to let it go,” Glasser said. “She heard it last second and opened up to let it by and I had to figure out how to take it.
(Mihelich) is one of the best (goalkeepers) in the league — she covers so much space on the ground and in the air.”
Glasser’s second goal came off a corner kick in the 57th minute of the match, when she found space between defenders in front of goal and headed the ball down and out of Mihelich’s reach.
Moments earlier Smith got free in front of goal and fired a shot to the far post, but Mihelich showed that quality Glasser spoke of later in the night, getting big and just tipping it wide to set up the corner kick.
The Bulldogs responded quickly, however, when star forward Sophie Green went on a solo run, beating SHS defenders Kristina Mingoy and Amara Sayer in the box before rifling a shot home past Olivia Hare.
Green’s threat was a focus of Vander Velde’s before the match, considering going to the same kind of man-marking scheme they had used against Port Angeles to keep Millie Long in check.
In the end, Vander Velde elected to play more of a matchup game against her, and said was pleased with the results.
“Her goal was kind of a mistake on our back line, but other than that they did a really good job against her,” he said. “(Mingoy) did really well using her speed to contain her, Mary (McAleer) used her positioning well, everyone across the board played really well.
“I’ve got no complaints tonight whatsoever.”
Big non-league win
Before their game against North Mason, the Wolves had a tune-up of sorts against Port Townsend in a 5-0 non-league win on Oct. 22. While the game doesn’t count for Sequim’s final standings in the Olympic League, Vander Velde was happy with the performance and the way it helped boost his team’s spirits and form.
Despite getting just one goal before halftime — Vander Velde said that he wasn’t pleased with the team being too relaxed early on — the team bounced back to “play the way we play,” as Vander Velde put it, scoring four times in the second half.
The scoring was from some of Sequim’s core seniors — Ryan and Glasser scored a brace of goals each, while Dietzman added one as well.
Vander Velde said he was happy to see all of them score as they hadn’t consistently found the net this season, with role changes for Dietzman and Glasser limiting their chances somewhat, and Ryan taking time to get back to form after an early-season injury.
Senior night reflections
The North Mason match on Nov. 24 also doubled as the last home game for the seniors in the squad, who together assemble an impressive list of talent for the Wolves: Dietzman, Glasser, Ryan, Mingoy, Gabby Happe, Autumn Hilliard, Eden Johnson and Alexis Smith.
All have played a big role for Vander Velde’s team this season, and as this is his fourth year in charge of the Wolves’ team, they’re also his first full graduating class.
“They’ve just trusted us so much and done what we’ve needed them to do,” Vander Velde said.
“They’ve all grown leaps and bounds, and I’m going to be sad when this season is done. I see them more than I see my family, and they’re really part of my family now. Saying goodbye is going to be a sad thing.”
Dietzman also reflected on the four years’ worth of memories at last week’s match.
“It was beyond my expectations,” the senior midfielder said when asked of her thoughts on her four years in the program.
“We’ve made so much history: district champions, state playoffs, we beat Olympic for the first time. I couldn’t have asked for a better four years of soccer, and the coaches have been amazing.”
Looking ahead and playoff scenarios
The Wolves were scheduled to finish their regular season with a visit to Kingston (0-11-0, 1-13-1) on Oct. 29; results were not available at press time.
If Sequim finishes in the top three places in the Olympic League, they’ll qualify for the district playoffs taking place between Nov. 2-9. If Sequim beats Kingston in their final regular season match, they’ll qualify for districts. If they lose, a win for North Mason against North Kitsap would see the Wolves get passed in the standings.