PORT ANGELES — Senior captain Keane McClain’s found the net from deep on a free kick and Port Angeles’ defense was stout enough to ensure a 1-0 shutout of Sequim and secure the Roughriders’ first win over their rivals since 2018.
“The tables turned for PA Thursday night at Civic Field, ” coach Chris Saari said.
“In the early stages, both teams were figuring each other out. The Sequim midfield caused us some problems centrally with their dribbling skills and pace in the first half. We got on the scoreboard late in the first half in the 36th minute. Senior Captain Keane McClain took a long range free kick and put it high and on frame. The Sequim goalkeeper [Nolan Valenzuela] got a hand on it, but it slipped thru his hands and into the back of the net.”
The Wolves came out with some energy at the start of the second half and created a serious of decent chances including a goal that was called back as offsides after a rebound came off Port Angeles goalkeeper Marcus Hogan.
“I didn’t have a good angle, the linesman had the clear look,” Sequim coach Juan Carlos Cisneros said of the offsides call. “It was unfortunate for us, but you can’t expect the refs to help you out, you have to keep playing better and execute.
“I thought we did well defensively, especially in the second half. We gave up no clear chances and there was not much danger. We spent most of the second half on their side with the ball. But PA compacted really well defensively and we weren’t able to create many chances even though we had opportunities. We were in a bit of a rush once we got into PA’s final third and the pass wasn’t there or the cross wasn’t coming in.”
The Roughriders had a chance to add to their score line midway thru the second half when freshman Grant Butterworth was fouled in the box for a penalty kick. McClain’s penalty kick, however, whistled just wide of the right post.
Sequim chased and pressured Port Angeles for the tying goal late, but the Riders defense had answers, corralling and clearing the ball from danger on a number of occasions.
Saari recognized Port Angeles’ defense [Landon Close, Zak Alton, Eli Fischer, Caleb Lagrange and Horgan] as a group as the team’s defensive players of the match for their hard work.
In the last five minutes, Port Angeles played the ball to the corners and did a good job of game management to see the game out.
“Hannes Spieker and Keane McClain were solid and had high work rates in the central midfield for PA and each earned Transition player of the match,” Saari said.
“Junior goalkeeper Marcus Hogan got the shut out and did a nice job collecting the balls that came into his box.”
Cisneros said he was impressed with left back Nova Barrett.
“He played well and added some speed to our defense,” Cisneros said. “We had two freshman make their varsity debut in Colton Wagner and Finn Braaten and it was good to see them out there. And Mekhi Ashby did well for us at attacking midfielder.”
Port Angeles (1-0-1, 2-0-1) visits Klahowya today in a nonleague match.
Sequim (0-2-0) will make its home debut Tuesday against Olympic.
Sports reporter/columnist Michael Carman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.