Mountaineers struggle in loss to South Whidbey

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMay 9, 2014 

LAUREL - Mount Baker's performance against South Whidbey was one worth forgetting.

Or possibly not.

Jason Jorgensen, the Mountaineers' coach, offered a question to his boys' soccer team following its 4-0 lost to South Whidbey on Friday, May 9, at Meridian High School in the semifinals of the Class 1A Northwest District Boys' Soccer Tournament.

"We said, 'If soccer was to end for you guys today and you never touched a ball again, is this how you'd want your last performance to be?'" Jorgensen said. "The answer was, 'No.' They understand that, and they understand they were flat today."

Mount Baker already earned a berth into tri-districts after defeating Coupeville 3-0 in the opening round Wednesday, but the team he saw come out with a chance to advance to the district championship game wasn't the same team that dominated the Wolves. Far from it, he said.

"They were fired up. They were ready to play," said Jorgensen of his team's performance against Coupeville. "(Friday), they were just flat."

In terms of sticking to a script, Mount Baker's playoff run last season is repeating itself. The Mountaineers opened the 2012-13 districts with a win followed by a loss to South Whidbey, and eventually a loss to Meridian in the third-place game.

Jorgensen made that fact known to his players Friday, urging them to come out against Blaine in the third-place game with an eye toward not repeating the past. The two Northwest Conference teams will face at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 10, at Whatcom Community College, for the chance to improve their seedings going into tri-districts.

It was an inauspicious start for Mount Baker after keeper Bryce Logan saved two early shots only to watch the Falcons' Kai Da Rosa tap in the first goal of the game off a deflection in the 17th minute. Logan made a diving save off a shot from Andrew Zisette, but Da Rosa followed it to give South Whidbey the early lead.

The Falcons added a goal 11 minutes later when Lucas Leiberman received a cross from Kameron Donohoe to place it past Logan again.

"The defensive balls, they were all going sideways," Jorgensen said. "Bryce is a fantastic goal keeper - one of the top keepers for his age - and that ball dropped out of his hands, and the second one he was running out and he completely slipped and that gets him frustrated."

Glimpses of Mount Baker's offensive abilities peered through at the end of the first half when the attack of Alex Tyska and Jesus Torrero broke down South Whidbey's backline. It largely was to no avail, with Falcons keeper Charley Stelling snuffing out any shots on goal.

That strong end to the half rolled over into the beginning of the second when the Mountaineers were peppering the Falcons' box with crosses. Again, though, the Falcons' defense weathered the barrage, leading to another goal by Da Rosa in the 56th minute off a cross from Jeffrey Meier. Da Rosa navigated several players inside the Mountaineers' box, leapt up and headed in his second goal of the game.

Tyska tried to answer back moments later when he muscled his way through two defenders and got a shot off the hit the left post, bouncing back in play.

"Tyska there at the end, he battled. He kept battling," Jorgensen said. "He came through and hit the post and had an opportunity. Unfortunately, there was our day."

South Whidbey's final goal came in almost-fitting fashion, with Zisette trying to cross a ball into Mount Baker's box only to watch it hit off a Mountaineer defender and past Logan for a goal.

"It's not like they created fantastic opportunities," Jorgensen said. "We were just off."

He hopes that won't be the case against Blaine.

Reach Alex Bigelow at alex.bigelow@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.

SOUTH WHIDBEY 4, MOUNT BAKER 0

Goal: Kai Da Rosa (South Whidbey), assist: NA time: 17:00; Goal: Lucas Leiberman (South Whidbey), assist: Kameron Donohoe time: 28:00; Goal: Kai Da Rosa (South Whidbey), assist: Jeffrey Meier; time: 56:00; Goal: Andrew Zisette (South Whidbey), assist NA: time: 61:00. Shots on goal: South Whidbey 17; Mount Baker 13. Goalies (saves) South Whidbey: Charley Stellin (6); Mount Baker: Bryce Logan (10).

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