BAINBRIDGE — Sequim had opportunities, particularly in the second half to tie up or even pull ahead of Class 3A Bainbridge in the Olympic League Boys Soccer Championship game, but the Wolves were forced to settle for second in a 2-1 loss on the Spartans’ home field.
“It was a great overall game. To have an opportunity to play a big 3A school, a larger school than us, on their home field for the Olympic League championship, was a lot of fun,” Wolves head coach Ken Garling said. “We almost did it. We played some very inspired soccer.”
Bainbridge (10-0) romped through Olympic League South Division play, beating teams with scores such as 11-0, 9-0 and 7-0.
And the Spartans showed their scoring ability early, going up 2-0 in the first 11 minutes.
“Bainbridge got their first score on the board in the third minute off a defensive mistake, and a good team like that captializes when you give them opportunities,” Garling said.
The Spartans added a second score when Sequim left a Bainbridge player unmarked on a corner kick.
“Down 2-0, that’s when we started to settle in and go on the attack ourselves, and we got some good team possesion play,” Garling said.
Senior Eli Gish sent in a free kick just before halftime to reset the game for Sequim (9-3).
“We earned a free kick out about 28 or 29 yards, and Eli Gish came up and just hammered the kick past the goalie’s fingertips in about the 38th minute,” Garling said. “It was a beautiful kick, and it was great to see our senior captain Eli step up and energize the team in his final game.”
Garling said his team played inspired soccer in the second half.
“The boys were hustling, winning the midfield and slowing their attack down,” Garling said. “They have some really skilled forwards, but they couldn’t get them the ball. Aidan Henninger was just phenomenal on that back line. Harrison Bell did a great job at left center back controlling the midfield.”
Sequim had two good chances on goal after halftime.
“Tyler Lawson had a shot from about 18 yards out, a low, hard-driven shot, and at the last second their goalie was able to get a hand on it,” Garling said.
“About 10 minutes later, Ethan Knight had a really nice shot, low and hard to the left, and it glanced off the side post. We had chances to tie it up and even win that one with the way our defense was playing.”
It was the final game for seniors Gish, Trenton Rocha and Aidan Braaten.
“A great bunch of kids, it’s been a pleasure coaching them,” Garling said of his squad.
Port Angeles takes two
BREMERTON — The Roughriders (14-0) wrapped up an undefeated Olympic League championship regular season with a doubleheader sweep of Olympic, 7-4 and 12-3.
“Great pitching by Teagan [Clark] and Cheyenne [Zimmer],” Port Angeles coach Randy Steinman said of the first game.
Clark allowed two runs on four hits and a walk, striking out four in five innings. Zimmer allowed two runs on two hits and a walk while striking out one in two innings.
“Our defense made a few errors, which gave Olympic extra opportunities to stay in the game,” Steinman said. “Natalie [Robinson] and Lily [Halberg’s] home runs provided the spark we needed to get the bats going later in the game.”
Robinson went 2 for 4, scoring twice and driving in a pair of runs.
The freshman kept her hot bat going in game two, hitting another home run and a double and driving in two runs for Port Angeles.
“Uncharacteristic errors by the Riders allowed all of Olympic’s runs,” Steinman said. “Again, great pitching by the Riders duo [of Clark and Zimmer], only giving up four hits and three unearned runs.
“Senior Jada Cargo-Acosta had a great game hitting, going 3 for 3 with all being extra-base hits.”
Cargo-Acosta tripled, doubled twice, scored three runs and drove in two more in the win.
Zoe Smithson tripled, and Taylor Worthington and Anne Edwards added doubles for Port Angeles.
The Riders will finish out the season with a pair of games Saturday at Central Kitsap, taking on Bainbridge at 10 a.m. and then facing Sequim or North Kitsap at 4 p.m. or 7 p.m.
Sports reporter Michael Carman can be contacted at 360-406-0674 or [email protected].