TOPPENISH — Sequim’s Class 2A state boys soccer tournament experience ended with a 7-1 loss to Toppenish, five of those goals coming in the final 20 minutes as a variety of physical and mental factors sapped the Wolves’ collective stamina.
“Toppenish was better than us but we just ran out of gas,” Sequim coach Dave Brasher said.
The Wolves were playing their fifth game in the last 10 days, all of them on the road. Four Sequim starters had AP exams scheduled Tuesday, so the school requested a Wednesday game which was declined by Toppenish. WIAA rules defaulted to a Tuesday game, so Sequim was left to scramble at the last-minute.
Brasher said the Wolves (13-6-2) left after the exams were completed and were further delayed en route by a traffic collision on state Highway 18.
When Sequim arrived in Toppenish six hours later, the Wolves had little time to adjust to the 90-degree heat before kickoff.
“A six-hour drive and we have to get right out of the van and play,” Brasher said. “That was difficult.”
Even more difficult — marking Wildcats’ standout Cristobal Cervantes, Toppenish’s all-league offensive player of the year.
Cervantes was involved on every goal, scoring three and assisting four.
Toppenish held a 2-0 lead at halftime, but Sequim made things interesting in the second half when the Wolves’ all-time leading scorer Liam Harris, added one final tally in the 51st minute.
“Liam Harris scored on a beauty of a free kick from 20 yards out,” Brasher said. “It was a really nice strike and it put us right back in it.”
Sequim pushed for the tying goal — but it wasn’t to be. Cervantes found space and booted a left-footed shot to the top left corner of the goal in the 60th minute.
“That was a little bit deflating,” Brasher said.
“He was pretty fast, he held the ball well and was creative.”
The physical and mental toll of so many games and so many miles wore out the Wolves.
“Liam pulled his hamstring late and had to come out,” Brasher said. “We were just exhausted.”
Brasher said the team was real positive afterwards.
“There were a lot of records set, good camaraderie between the kids, it was a fun group to coach,” he said.
Harris ended his career with a program-record best 44 goals.
Sophomore Ryan Tolberd set the school’s individual season goal-scoring mark with 21.
“Liam was saying his record might only last one year,” Brasher said.
“We had four players with 10 or more goals which was a record and scored 75 goals on the season for another team record.”
Brasher said this group is “near the top” of the team’s he’s coached in two decades heading up the Wolves.
“They are near the top, I think our 2004 team was pretty good too,” Brasher said. “These guys attack better and there was a deeper arsenal of weapons. They were a fun group to coach and we are still having fun on the van ride home. We decided to just say it ended up 2-1.”
District Golf Five qualify for state
BREMERTON — Five more North Olympic Peninsula golfers are moving on to their respective state tournaments after qualifying at the Class 1A and 2A West Central District golf tournaments at Gold Mountain Golf Club on Tuesday.
In the boys 1A tournament, Port Townsend’s Jacob Madison was seventh overall with a 93 to advance to 1A state and Chimacum’s Logan Storm finished 10th after shooting a 98. They will compete at the 1A state tournament at Liberty Lake Golf Course in Spokane on Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Redhawks’ Mackenzie Lake will make a repeat trip to state. Lake shot a 96 to finish sixth overall in the 18-player field. She’ll tee it up at Spokane’s Hangman Valley in the girls 1B/2B/1A tourney on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Sequim’s Samantha (Sam) Smith and Port Angeles’ Mathew Locke reached the girls and boys Class 2A state tournaments, respectively.
Smith was medalist for the girls tournament, shooting an 88 on the Cascade Course.
“She hit the ball as good as I’ve seen her hit it this year,” Wolves coach Garrett Smithson said. “If she putts better, we are talking about a score in the low 80s. Sam will be moving onto state with teammate Sarah Shea.”
Shea qualified for state by winning the Olympic League Championship earlier this month.
Maddie Uranga (113) and Yana Hoesel (115) also competed for Sequim, missing the 105-stroke cut.
“I’m proud of the whole team and what they accomplished this season,” Smithson said. “State will be played Tuesday and Wednesday at Horn Rapids Golf Course in Richland.”
Locke placed fourth out of 24 competitors Tuesday, shooting a 93 on the Olympic Course to advance to the 2A state tournament.
“Mathew kept his focus and recovered well after errant shots,” Roughriders coach Gil Stockton said. “There were great shots made by all the guys. It was a perfect day for golf and great learning experience on all aspects of the game. The boys all played well this season and earned this post season play. Matt now gets the experience of playing golf with the best 2A boys in the state. Fun stuff.”
Nate Drake (101) and Skyler Cobb (115) missed the cut for Port Angeles.
The 2A boys tournament will be held Tuesday and Wednesday at Columbia Point in Richland.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or [email protected]