Sequim at state Sequim's Wolves were slated to take on the
Bellingham Red Raiders in the first round of the class 2A state
tournament May 18 in Poulsbo. Results of the game were unavailable at
press time. The winner of the loser-out game takes on the winner of the
Archbishop Murphy/Tumwater game in the quarterfinals.
Like a good Western film, Saturday's West Central District playoff final between Sequim and Steilacoom came down to a shoot-out.
Fortunately for their fans, Sequim's Wolves had enough firepower.
Sequim racked up four scores while Byron Boots picked up two huge saves as Sequim won the shoot-out 4-2 and advanced to the state 2A tournament that starts this week (see box).
Steilacoom took an early lead - just 40 seconds in - when Tyler Spodobalski knocked one home.
Sequim got right back with two scores in the next 12 minutes, the first from Evan Watkins and the second from Aldo Garcia, both set up by Daniel Servin.
"Daniel's got ... (an) unteachable feel for the game," Sequim coach Dave Brasher said. "He makes really good decisions with his passes."
Not bad for a youngster playing through injuries to both ankles.
Nick Camporini had a pair of first-half scores that were called back for offside infractions.
Instead, Sequim took a 2-1 lead into halftime.
"We played a great first half after that first minute," Brasher said. "(We) controlled the play and got the kids confident."
Steilacoom put more pressure on in the second half, instigating more play in the Sequim zone and using crossing passes to set up opportunities.
"We had two or three really good chances to make it 3-1 (but) their keeper came up big," Brasher said.
The Sentinels finally broke through when Spodobalski got his second goal of the game with five minutes to go.
Sequim players, a bit deflated, managed to hold off Steilacoom in overtime, forcing the shoot-out.
Camporini, Watkins, Saul Flores and Jordy Shearer each converted their shots for Sequim. Boots, the Wolves' sophomore keeper, came up big on the other side, getting a hand on three shot attempts and saving two to clinch the victory.
"He was in the zone," Brasher said.
The win puts Sequim in the state tourney for the second consecutive year - and opening against a familiar foe.
On May 18, the Wolves were scheduled to take on Bellingham (14-3), the team that knocked Sequim out in round one in a 1-0 overtime decision last season.
"From what I've been reading, they have a fair amount of those kids (from 2009) coming back," Brasher said. "I think our attack is a little more diversified this year."
The winner advances to the state quarterfinals.
Wolves outlast Pats in district playoff opener
Last week's district playoff opener may be the only time Sequim players comfortably can call Port Angeles' Civic Field their "home" turf.
It worked, anyway.
Sequim got two first-half goals from John Textor and withstood a late attack to topple Washington 2-1 in this West Central District match-up.
Textor got scores within the first 20 minutes and, despite Patriot Eol Han's goal on a deflection, looked to increase their lead with strong play throughout.
But the Patriots stood their ground and in the final 15 minutes put a corner kick and set play off a free kick that had Boots making leaping saves.
"The first five minutes we were nervous," Brasher said. "The next 15 to 20 were about the best we've played all year."
Washington kept in the game with their athleticism but couldn't capitalize when it counted, thanks to some solid defense.
"We really worked hard the whole game," Boots said. "The last 10-minute (stretch) was pretty sketchy (but) the defense played really well. We had some lapses but they didn't cost us anything."
Brasher credited Camporini, Servin, Watkins and Jerry Azanza for strong play up front.
Reach Michael Dashiell at firstname.lastname@example.org.