SEQUIM — With both teams shuttling players into new spots in their respective lineups due to injuries, Port Angeles scored a pair of first-half goals and held on despite a late Sequim strike by Olivia Hare for a 2-1 Olympic League girls soccer win over the rival Wolves in windy weather Friday.
Some of the Roughriders (2-1) more experienced players put in the work early to lift Port Angeles to a 2-0 halftime lead.
Port Angeles controlled possession for much of the early going and had its best scoring chance go high over the bar when Hannah Reetz couldn’t quite control a low cross along the goal line from Millie Long in the 21st minute.
Given a second chance on almost a mirror image pass from Long three minutes later, Reetz got enough of her midsection on a Millie Long cross to belly bump the ball into the net to give the Riders a 1-0 advantage.
“Millie had a beautiful cross in front and it was wide open and I missed the first one, it went over,” Reetz said. “And I remember going back on defense after that and thinking, ‘I have to get this back.’ My heart sunk.
And Millie made it up, she shoots bullets in there and sometimes I just need to touch it with my body and it will go in. I used my stomach [to direct the ball into the goal].”
It’s a combination that has had strong results the past couple of seasons.
“Hannah has learned that if Millie gets the ball wide, the ball is going to come back across the middle,” Port Angeles coach Scott Moseley said. “She’s scored a number of those in the last couple of years off Millie assists.”
Long had a part in the Riders’ next goal in stoppage time just before halftime when her left footed shot was blocked by a number of Wolves’ defenders and onto the foot of on-rushing Anna Petty who blasted the ball into the goal for a 2-0 lead at the break.
Petty was an active presence all over the middle of the field for Port Angeles.
“She does so much for us,” Reetz said. “Everything is really controlled when Anna is on the field. She’s so composed.”
“[Petty] had a banger of a goal and just controlling in the midfield,” Moseley said of how Petty stood out. “She provides a strong force there.”
A third cross by Long in front of the goal nearly resulted in a 3-0 Riders’ lead early in the second half, but the game remained 2-0 until the 69th minute.
Hare, who has an extremely strong leg and has converted on free kick and penalty shootout goals in the past, moved from goalkeeper to position player and made the move count.
Sequim earned a free kick just past midfield on the right side of the field. Hare then bent a right-to-left blast in the wind from around 35 yards out into the net for the energizing goal the Wolves desperately needed.
“A bit of a spark,” Wolves coach Derek Vander Velde said of Hare’s goal. [She’s scored on those before] and even when she’s a keeper and we are pushed high we let her kick it. She knows her role, she heard me talk about the wind, we talked about all that. She steps up when we really need it to count.”
Sequim chased for the tying goal in the final 10 minutes of the match and beyond a few nervous moments, couldn’t get a good look on goal.
“One of the stories for me for the game was we had a couple of players out of position in the back line because of some injuries,” Moseley said. “We had two freshmen starting and Paige Mason had never played the central defensive position and Izzy Felton had never played left back.
“We hadn’t done anything at practice, so to limit Sequim, I think their goal was their only shot. They just did really well.”
Port Angeles had a chance at an insurance goal when Mia Gagnon sent an on-target shot right at Sequim’s goal, but backup keeper Addie Smith made the save.
“Mia played well in her role as central defensive midfielder,” Moseley said.
Vander Velde said his team had picked up some injuries during the week.
“From the get go, what we had planned we came into it like, ‘Oh that’s not going to work,’” Vander Velde said. “We had to throw some players into other positions and with the rivalry there’s always some nerves, so there was a little bit of disjointedness.”
Sequim was without Hannah Wagner and Amara Sayer, two of its best players at forward and defender, respectively. They should return for next Saturday’s rematch with Port Angeles at Peninsula College.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected]