PORT TOWNSEND — With the momentum, and 25-mph wind gusts at their back, the East Jefferson Rivals were looking forward to overtime and a potential upset of Bellevue Christian.
Unfortunately, the Vikings were awarded a free kick close to the East Jefferson goal after a disputed handball call.
“They scored the winner in the last minute from a free kick right at the edge of the penalty area,” coach Rob Cantley said.
“We ran out to midfield for the restart, but the whistle ended the game.”
The Rivals rallied after a slow start to the match.
“It was really tightly contested,” Cantley said. “It was a blustery, windy day, the pitch was kinda muddy and other teams [that play almost exclusively on turf fields] aren’t used to it.”
Bellevue Christian led 1-0 after knocking in a shot from 30 yards out about midway through the half.
Goalkeeper Akili Clevenger stood tall about 10 minutes later.
“She made an incredible double save, a routine shot that came at her chest and it was about to roll over the goal line, and when she scooped it up, one of their players dove at her feet and kicked it, but she made the save,” Cantley said.
A change in tactics at halftime loosened things up offensively.
“We were able to get into the game and created more and more chances,” Cantley said.
The Rivals evened the game up on a Kaylen Pray goal.
“Ava Shiflett sent a really good ball up to the front and Kaylen Pray beat a couple of defenders and scored,” Cantley said.
The Rivals had the momentum but couldn’t take the lead in the final minutes and were looking for overtime when the free kick quickly ended the contest.
“It was senior night, so they were heartbroken,” Cantley said.
“Izzy [McCracken], Kaylen and Leah [Harrison], when they came in as freshmen, they were coming in from Kitsap and Bainbridge club soccer teams, so we felt we could build something with them,” Cantley said.
Cantley said he couldn’t be happier with his senior class.
“When we combined with Chimacum, we were able to pick up Shelby Thibeault, who has a great head on her shoulders. And Natalie [Zavalza] as well, she has stuck with it and improved throughout her four years.”
East Jefferson (5-6-2, 6-6-2) will visit Vashon (7-3-3, 7-5-3) in a Class 1A West Central District tournament loser-out playoff game at 5:45 p.m. Friday.
Sequim 3, Bremerton 1
BREMERTON — The Wolves scored twice off of corner kicks to get past the Knights in an Olympic League road contest Thursday.
“In the first half, Bremerton did a great job with pressure, pressing us high on the field,” coach Ken Garling said. “We were having a hard time getting the ball out of our own end and it led to a missed clearance and an own goal in the ninth minute.”
Sequim tied the game in the 26th minute.
“After the goal, we settled in and got a goal off a corner kick,” Garling said. “Raimey Brewer is our corner kick specialist and she dropped one in over the head of Bremerton’s goalkeeper and Taryn [Johnson] was there to tap it in.”
Goalkeeper Kalli Grove made a pivotal save early in the second half.
“Bremerton came out fired up,” Garling said. “They come up the middle split our center backs and beat our last defender so it was 1-on-1 with the goalie.”
“Kalli came up big with a tremendous deflection save in a spot where a goal would have put them up 2-1. She made a huge save, and that changed the momentum. We got possession and our offense going after that.”
Brewer sent in another fruitful corner kick in the 51st minute.
“Raimey put the ball in off a nice corner inside the 6-yard box, and Jenny Gomez charged in and put a volley on it.”
Gomez closed out the match with a 71st-minute insurance goal.
“Jenny got another to finish it out in the 70th minute when she got the ball about 25 yards out, turned, faced and cracked it into the upper-left corner,” Garling said.
Sequim (6-6-0) hosts Kingston tonight in a senior night celebration.
Sequim 3, Bremerton 0
BREMERTON — Another barrage of aces pushed the Wolves past the Knights 25-10, 25-8, 25-15.
Sequim totaled 27 aces in an earlier match against winless Bremerton.
“We had 28 aces this time and Kendall [Hastings] had 12 of them,” coach Jennie Weber Heilman said.
“First game, Sydney Hegtvedt served one, two, three in a row, all were aces. Kendall started serving, and Kendall served 13 points in a row and eight of them were aces.”
Hastings ended up serving 21 for 23 with the 12 aces, plus seven kills, two stuff blocks and four digs.
Hegtvedt went 10 of 10 with four aces.
Jolene Vaara set a goal of serving 100 percent in the match and accomplished that, according to Weber Heilman.
“She served perfectly, 10 of 10 with four aces, five kills and five assists.”
Sydney Clark also added five aces on 13-of-15 serving along with six assists.
Sequim (10-3, 10-4) hosts Kingston (9-4) tonight in a senior night clash with second place and a first-round bye up for grabs.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at mcarman@ peninsuladailynews.com.