SHORELINE - Heartbreak struck again for the Squalicum girls' soccer team.
For the second straight season the Storm fell in the state semifinals, one game away from playing for the ultimate prize. It was almost an identical picture to a season ago when they lost to Sumner on penalty kicks. This time it was a 2-1 loss to Bellingham.
Squalicum was the dominant team for most of the game, but couldn't capitalize.
Lauren Gibb rung the crossbar twice, once in each half and despite staying in Bellingham's side nearly the entire second half, the Storm's season ended with disappointment.
"It's just missed opportunities," coach David Kish said. "Last year, we hit the crossbar once. This year, we hit it twice. That's the game of soccer. In soccer goals are hard to come by, and this is the way it goes when you can't score. They capitalized on their chances and we didn't."
The already high-stakes game was even more intense with a rival on the other end.
"Obviously there was a lot of pressure and a lot of expectations," Gibb said. "We can't be upset here today. I don't think we should be ashamed."
Anything can happen in the game of soccer, and when it's decided by mere inches, the loss always feels a little bit worse.
"We couldn't have done anything better leading up to this day or today to get the win," Gibb said. "It just wasn't meant to be."
It was Squalicum's game and they were in control. Bellingham just made their opportunities count and Squalicum didn't.
Some days it goes your way and some days it doesn't in the game of soccer. Squalicum has just been on the wrong side two years in a row.
"We have to come back out tomorrow and place third, which is better than we did last year," Gibb said.
Squalicum plays Yakima West Valley on Saturday, Nov. 23, to compete for a third-place finish in the state tournament. For the second straight season, this is what it's come down to for the Storm - a consolation game.