TENINO — The Forks soccer team’s remarkable spring run came to a heartbreaking halt this weekend with a hard-fought 3-2 loss in the Southwest 1A/2B championship match against a powerful Seton Catholic squad.
The Cougars came in to Saturday’s game with an 11-1 record, with that one loss to 2A Ridgefield. Seton Catholic had also earlier this season beat 1A Montesano 8-0 and 1A Elma 6-0.
“We made them fight for it,” said coach Ismael Ramos. “I told the kids to keep their heads up. We’re still league champion. We’re a 2B public school and went up against a private 1A school.
“They had to play with us,” Ramos said.
Forks had a 2-1 lead in the second half against the Cougars, but Seton Catholic’s top midfielder, David Moore, broke through with a goal to make it 2-2. Ramos said Moore gave Forks a hard time all match.
“He pretty much dominated the midfield,” he said.
Seton Catholic got the go-ahead goal on a “weird bounce,” with three minutes left to play, Ramos said.
Forks had a late chance for a tying goal on a corner kick. Tony Flores-Hernandez took the corner, and Aristeo Ayala-Weed headed it, but it ticked off the goalpost and stayed out.
“I was proud my guys didn’t give up. That’s what I’m thankful for,” Ramos said.
Ramos said “Seton Catholic moved the ball very well,” but Forks played them even, going into the half tied 0-0. Spartans goalkeeper Rafael Torrenos stopped a penalty kick in the first half to keep the Cougars off the scoreboard.
“He had a lot of good saves actually,” Ramos said.
The Spartans started the scoring when Flores-Hernandez drew a penalty in the box. Luis Perez took the penalty kick and scored.
Five minutes later, Seton Catholic scored on a corner kick. Forks came back a few minutes later as Ayala-Weed scored unassisted on a free kick from near the midfield stripe.
The Spartans finished their season 11-1. Ramos said Colton Duncan and Flores-Hernandez both had great games. The Spartans are a senior-heavy team that will graduate nine players off their varsity squad.