PORT ANGELES — Featuring nine combined goals, a goalkeeper-assisted score and a goal-line save by a defender in a spirited, entertaining and down to the wire contest, Tuesday’s Rainshadow Rumble boys soccer derby checked all the boxes.
Sequim triumphed 5-4 on a 79th-minute goal deflected into net by Belgian exchange student Mathys Tanche, capping a hat trick for Tanche and earning the Wolves three Olympic League points in a comeback from an early 3-0 deficit against Port Angeles.
The late strike answered a tying penalty kick score by the Riders’ Andrew St. George in the 78th minute, St. George’s second goal of the game.
“Pretty amazing,” Sequim coach Dave Brasher said. “[Port Angeles scores to tie with] two minutes to go and to come right back? Pretty incredible. One of the better PA-Sequim games in recent memory.”
It was all Port Angeles to open the match, the first contest of the season for the Roughriders, and the second game for Sequim after a 0-0 tie with Ballard last Saturday.
Brothers Stuart and Andrew Methner were active at the start for Port Angeles, combining to earn a direct free kick just outside the 18-yard box. St. George converted the free kick attempt, slotting the ball high and right for a 1-0 lead.
“They’ve played some soccer together in the back yard,” Riders coach Chris Saari said.
Stuart Methner chased down the ball in the eighth minute and dribbled around Sequim goalie Navy Thomas-Brenske for a 2-0 lead in the eighth minute.
And goalkeeper Anton Kathol, a former All-Olympic League punter for the Riders football team, displayed his powerful leg, clearing the ball three-quarters of the way down the field to Stuart Methner, who beat the goalie low and left for a three-goal advantage in the 20th minute.
But the game turned in Sequim’s favor when senior defender Brandon Benson saved another certain Port Angeles goal from reaching the net with a clearance at the goal line.
And Adrian Funston followed up with a 24th minute goal for a 3-1 halftime score.
“Just momentum,” Saari said when asked what changed for his team. “We had opportunities to get the fourth and the fifth [goal] and we didn’t do it. When Sequim got that first one back they got a little life. And we went into halftime with that 3-1 lead and we knew if they got the next one it would be a barnburner.”
Tanche said getting the goal before halftime was big for the Wolves’ confidence.
“When we scored we knew we could take that energy and comeback,” Tanche said.
Tanche slammed a shot off the crossbar in the two minutes into the second half and earned and converted a penalty kick in the 48th.
Eight minutes later Tanche dribbled through two defenders and shot low and right to tie the score at 3-all.
Ryan Tolberd put Sequim ahead 4-3 in the 69th minute on a back-door goal off a ball flicked forward by Funston.
“We had some defensive miscues,” Saari said. “Coming in against Sequim without having that nonleague game in Forks last weekend, we had some bugs to work out. And defensively, we can’t allow five goals.”
The Wolves’ other foreign exchange student Rodrigo Silva Carrasco of Mexico nearly added an insurance goal when he nailed the left post in the 77th minute.
Port Angeles was awarded a penalty soon after and St. George scored again to tie it up, but Sequim answered almost immediately, as Tanche found the net for the third time.
“In second half, I got a lot of good balls and I felt like I made a difference,” Tanche said.
“We were together, very team [oriented], and we love it.”
Brasher had praise for Brandon Wagner, a freshman who came on in the second half and helped Sequim control the ball.
“A really calm and composed freshman,” Brasher said. “He played really well.
“And Adrian Funston who we moved from forward back into the center mid[field] and I thought he dominated in the center mid in the second half.”
Saari said Kathol “had a strong game in his first varsity appearance making some key saves and consistently punting the ball three quarters of the field.”
“And sophomore Sean Rankin also did well at left back in his first varsity start.”
Sequim (1-0-1) and Port Angeles (0-1-0) will meet in Sequim on April 9.
Before that, the Wolves host Bremerton on Friday while the Riders head to Kingston.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]