By Pierre LaBossiere
Peninsula Daily News
SPOKANE — The Port Angeles soccer girls’ clock struck midnight Saturday in a heartbreaking second overtime 4-3 loss to West Valley of Spokane in the state 2A quarterfinals.
The girls traveled all over the state in their playoff odyssey, with four games in Tacoma, one in Yakima and one in Spokane. They traveled well over 1,000 miles over the past three weeks.
Port Angeles came in fourth in the Olympic League 2A division, but then got red-hot in the postseason, winning four out of five games at the West Central District tournament and in the first round of the state 2A tournament. It took West Valley more than 95 minutes to finally knock the Roughriders out of the postseason with a golden goal game-winner early in the second overtime.
“The girls got on a roll and played really good defense,” said head coach Scott Moseley.
The girls finish their season 13-9. They set a school record with wins and with goals on the season (66). And in the end, they came on, so close to making it to the state semifinals.
“There were lots of tears, including from me,” Moseley said.
The Riders got off to a fast start, taking a 2-0 lead over the Eagles early in the match. Kyrsten McGuffey got the scoring started when a rebound went off of her in the sixth minute. Just two minutes later, McGuffey hit a crossing pass to Emilia Long, who scored her 17th goal of the season as the Riders took a quick 2-0 lead.
“We had a dream start,” Moseley said.
Port Angeles took that lead into halftime, but the Eagles recovered in the second half, scoring two quick goals themselves in the 50th and 53rd minutes to equalize the score. The Riders’ backs were against the wall when West Valley took the lead with a goal in the 72nd minute on a scramble in front of the net after a free kick.
In the last minute of the match, however, a sophomore junior varsity player who was forced into action with Roughriders nursing injuries, Emma Albright, scored a dramatic tying goal with what Moseley called “a beautiful goal” from 15 yards out, sending the game to overtime.
But just over 15 minutes later, the Riders’ season ended abruptly when the Eagles knocked a crossing pass into the goal.
Moseley said nine seniors graduate from this team that enjoyed a remarkable season-ending run, but that there is a strong core of young players, including leading scorer Long, returning next year.