VANCOUVER — The Port Angeles soccer girls’ run in the state 2A playoffs ended with a 5-1 loss in the quarterfinals to a very good Ridgefield team that also knocked Sequim out of the state tournament.
Ridgefield, ranked No. 2 in the state among all classifications, has a number of players signed to play at Division I and Division II colleges, said Roughriders coach Scott Moseley.
The Riders came in to the match having given up only seven goals all season, and only one goal in the postseason, but the Spudders were able to score five because of Port Angeles mistakes. The Riders hurt themselves with a pair of own-goals against the Spudders. Moseley said an inadvertent pass also led to another Ridgefield goal.
“Its hard to compete against top teams, but we dug ourselves a really deep hole by letting them jump up on us 2-0 in the first half,” Moseley said.
Port Angeles was fairly equal to Ridgefield in shots with 10 for the Riders and 13 for the Spudders, but the Riders weren’t able to score until the 65th minute. Millie Long dribbled around the Spudders’ right back and crossed a ball that the Ridgefield keeper was able to save, but the rebound bounced to Catie Brown, whose left-footed shot found the back of the net. It was Brown’s third goal of the year.
In spite of the loss, Moseley said there were a lot of positives to this record-breaking team.
“I told the team, don’t let this game define you or the team’s season. We had the best year in Port Angeles soccer and there is lots to be proud of,” he said. The Riders set records this year with most wins (16), fewest losses (3), lowest goals against average (0.6), first league title in 34 years, their second quarterfinal appearance in three years and third state appearance in four.
Moseley also noted that, “the Clark County area is a hotbed of girls’ soccer [The No. 1 team in the state is at nearby Columbia River High School.]. Three out of the four state semi-finalists are from there. Within two blocks of Ridgefield High School, the voters have approved five turf fields, whereas all of Clallam County only has two.”
“The girls there play lots of quality club soccer at quality facilities. I’m proud of how our multi-sport athletes competed against them,” Moseley said.
The Riders finish the season with a 16-3-1 record (with two of those losses in shootouts) and outscored their opponents 69 to 14.).
Port Angeles will have to rebuild its stifling defense. The Riders graduate keeper Madi Roening, defenders Lucah Folden, Isabella Money and Kiana Watson-Charles and midfielder Delaney Wenzl.
The Riders do bring back league-leading scorer Millie Long (33 goals and 11 assists) for her senior season and some very talented starters in BAilee Larson, Eve Burke, Hannah Reetz, Teagan Clark, Mia Gagnon, Catie Brown, Anna Petty and Jada Cargo.