PORT ANGELES — Fending off a strong offensive attack from rival Port Angeles during the first half and helped by a disallowed goal, the Sequim girls soccer team prevailed 1-0 in a dramatic penalty kick showdown at Civic Field.
Wolves goaltender Claire Henninger, shaken up when she was collided into during an apparent score shortly after halftime, made a spectacular diving save during the penalty shootout to help seal the win. Henninger said she took a shoulder to the jaw and it was still sore after the match.
She said it was a huge win for Sequim to beat their Olympic League rival.
“We’ve been wanting this for so long,” she said of Tuesday’s game.
“This has been in the back of our heads for so long [to beat Port Angeles]. It’s our time.”
Sequim coach Derek VanderVelde was impressed with Henninger’s performance, especially after being shaken up. “She’s a tough girl,” he said.
Speaking to the Roughriders’ dominance early in the match, VanderVelde said, “we grinded it out. Wolves are fighters. This was an emotional game. I’m extremely proud of our girls.”
The win, the Wolves’ fourth straight, pushed Sequim’s league record to 3-1 (5-2 overall), while Port Angeles dropped to 2-2 (3-3 overall).
Port Angeles was frustrated by a disallowed goal because of contact with Henninger in the goal mouth. Riders’ coach Scott Moseley said this seemed to be part of some tough luck this season for Port Angeles.
“At some point, the soccer gods will allow a goal for us,” he said.
Port Angeles controlled the tempo early, with the ball in Sequim’s end most of the first half. The Riders’ Kyrsten McGuffey and Sierra Robinson put pressure on the Wolves’ defense repeatedly in the first half, but despite a number of good scoring chances the score remained 0-0 at the break.
“We had the run of play [in the first half],” Moseley said. At the end of the half, Port Angeles had 11 shots to Sequim’s 5.
Minutes into the second half, the Riders got the ball past Henninger and into the net, but the goal was immediately disallowed. The call seemed to change the momentum as Sequim started taking more control in the second half. The Wolves actually beat Riders goalie Madelyn Wenzl, but Port Angeles was saved by a savvy goal clear by Shanzi Cosgrove.
The Wolves’ Kristina Mingoy made a couple of spectacular solo runs, getting past much of the Riders’ defense late in the second half, and forcing Wenzl to make a difficult save on one point-blank shot. Despite all the open chances and back-and-forth action, the game remained tied 0-0 at the end of overtime.
Wenzl started the penalty kicks by making not one, but two spectacular saves on kicks by Henninger and Jessica Dietzman. Henninger likewise made a diving stop against Port Angeles. Adare McMinn and Yana Hoesel finally scored on the penalty kicks for the Wolves to put Sequim up 2-0.
The Riders’ Leah Haworth scored on her penalty kick to make it 2-1, but Claire Payne came back to make her penalty kick to make it 3-1 and give the Wolves the win.
Sequim plays at league foe Kingston Thursday, while Port Angeles is at North Mason Thursday.
Sports editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]