PORT ANGELES — Sequim’s Taryn Johnson tallied her second hat trick of the season in a tight, come-from-behind 3-2 victory for the Wolves over Olympic Peninsula rival Port Angeles on Tuesday night.
Port Angeles led much of the night and seemed headed for a hard-fought win when Johnson scored her second and third goals in the 65th and 67th minutes to shock the Roughriders.
“What really helps us is we just don’t quit … that we had that fight,” said Sequim coach Ken Garlin. “We have a don’t-quit attitude.”
“I definitely think my team worked well with me … I just had a good game,” Johnson said.
Johnson’s first two goals were assisted by Hannah Wagner and Teagen Moore. Her final goal was completely a solo effort. She gobbled up a loose ball near midfield, dribbled past a couple of Rider defenders, then ripped a shot to the far post to give the Wolves a lead with 13 minutes left in the match.
The Riders dominated much of the possession up until Johnson’s flurry of goals, holding a 2-1 lead with only 15 minutes to play.
“We told ourselves, ‘Don’t give up.’ We just have that go-go mentality,” Johnson said.
Port Angeles coach Scott Moseley said the game came down to defensive lapses, as the Riders allowed Johnson several one-on-one opportunities in the second half. In addition to her two goals, Johnson had another golden opportunity on a wide-open shot that trickled just outside the left goalpost.
“We could play better in the back,” Moseley said. “We just kept backing off their players. With 18 minutes left, I was feeling pretty confident.”
It was a rough game in more ways than one for the Riders. On top of the loss, Bailee Larson, one of their best players, sustained a scary leg injury in the final five minutes. She had to be helped off the field and could barely put weight on her leg. Moseley didn’t know how bad the injury was, but said it didn’t look good.
“She was in a lot of pain. We’ll have to see,” he said.
The Riders scored the first goal of the match when Larson made a nice stop-and-go move with the ball to get around a couple of Sequim defenders. Once she got through the defense, she calmly booted the ball for a tally in the ninth minute. That goal was assisted by Piper Williams.
Johnson got behind the Riders’ defense, but a solid shot went just wide of the right post in the 32nd minute. Johnson got behind the defense again just a minute later and this time, she didn’t miss, booting it through to tie the game at 1-1.
The tie didn’t last long, however. In the 35th minute, Larson took a hard long-range shot that Sequim goalkeeper Addie Smith punched out. The rebound went straight to a wide-open Lily Sanders, who scored to make it 2-1.
After Johnson scored her back-to-back goals in the second half, Port Angeles had one last good chance when Larson got open on the side of the net in the 71st minute. She took a hard shot, but the angle was too sharp and the ball hit the side of the net.
The Wolves moved ahead of the Riders in the Olympic League 2A standings with the victory.
Johnson’s first hat trick this season was in a 4-1 win Sept. 14 against Olympic.
Moseley said Port Angeles-Sequim games always seem to be one-goal affairs. Earlier this season, the Riders beat the Wolves 3-2.
“Pretty much the last four or five years, our games are really close,” he said.