Olympic’s Claire Caldwell, left, races for the ball with Sequim’s Taryn Johnson in the first half at Sequim High School on March 16. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Olympic’s Claire Caldwell, left, races for the ball with Sequim’s Taryn Johnson in the first half at Sequim High School on March 16. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Sequim caps season with shutout win

On senior night, four Sequim girls moving on to play soccer at the Northwest Athletic Conference next year got their last chance to play one last soccer match in Sequim in front of their families.

And the seniors were all a big part of the Wolves’ 2-0 victory over Olympic on a frigid, but clear night on March 16.

“They really came together in the game against Kingston (on March 13),” said coach Derek Vander Velde. “I’m just impressed with the way they played. I’m sad to see the seniors go.”

It was the last home game for Abby Schroeder, Amara Sayer, Natalya James and Olivia Hare. This group has been a big part of the reason the Wolves (4-5) made two consecutive trips to state the past couple of years, though because of the COVID-19 truncated season this year, won’t get that chance.

The seniors were grateful just to be able to have a season, short as it was.

“It taught us to take advantage of what we do have,” Hare said.

Vander Velde said it’s the first time that he’s aware of that Sequim beat Olympic twice in one season. The Wolves beat the Trojans on the road, also by the score of 2-0, on Feb. 24.

The Wolves’ Abby Schroeder dominated much of the match at the midfield, setting up her teammates time and again with chances. Her and goalkeeper Olivia Hare worked perfectly together all match and Hare pounded the ball deep to midfield on her outlet kicks and found Schroeder at the mid seemingly every single time.

“We have a special connection,” Schroeder said.

The pair will continue to team up next season on the women’s soccer team at Lower Columbia College.

Schroeder ended up with two assists. She created the first goal with a run down the right wing in the first 45 seconds of the match, then crossed the ball to a wide-open Taryn Johnson. Johnson had time to gather the ball and get off a hard shot for a goal.

Vander Velde said he thought that was the quickest goal the Wolves have ever scored under his tenure.

Olympic had essentially two good chances to score in the first half, but both chances were stoned by keeper Olivia Hare. The first was a corner kick that was headed perfectly, but Hare was able to calmly corral the ball.

Her second save was even better in the 27th minute. Olympic star Ryleigh Barrett got free on the left side of the goal and fired a rocket to the far post that looked like a sure goal. Hare made a diving two-handed save parallel to the ground to keep the ball out.

That was Olympic’s last serious scoring chance for the match as the Trojans just couldn’t get through the Wolves’ defense.

The half ended with Sequim holding on to a 1-0 lead.

Schroeder set up an insurance goal in the second half in the 56th minute. She worked the ball free again at midfield and made a pass to a wide-open Payton Johnson on the right wing. Johnson was 25 yards out and at a sharp angle to the goal, but she placed her shot perfectly up high near the cross bar and the Olympic keeper was helpless to keep it out.

Hare had a scare a minute later in a collision with an Olympic player, forcing her to come out of the match with a bruised knee.

“She ran right through me,” Hare said.

Hannah Wagner briefly came in to play keeper, then was screamed at by Schroeder to take off her gloves for an important corner kick down at Olympic’s end near the end of the game. Hare was able to come in and finish the match as Wagner got in on the corner kick play.

“Thanks for playing goalie,” Vander Velde told her after the game.

Olympic’s Alexis Valenzuela, left, and Sequim’s Abigail Schroeder chase after a loose ball during a March 16 match at Sequim High School. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

Olympic’s Alexis Valenzuela, left, and Sequim’s Abigail Schroeder chase after a loose ball during a March 16 match at Sequim High School. Photo by Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group

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