SEDRO-WOOLLEY — Coach Gary Warman watched his Sedro-Woolley boys’ soccer team play its best game with a 2-0 win over Sehome, then predicted the Mariners would join his Cubs in the Class 2A State Tournament.
“I think Sehome will go to state,” Warman said in the celebratory wake of the Cubs’ first shutout over a winning team this season in the Northwest District semifinals on Tuesday, May 12. The win gave Sedro-Woolley its third consecutive state berth.
Eighth-seeded Sehome (8-5-5) now must win a loser-out game to qualify for state, against either Anacortes or Burlington-Edison on Thursday night, May 14, on the Sedro-Woolley turf.
Mariners coach John Sylvester said he has every reason to have faith in his young team.
“I’m proud of how our guys played against a very smart, wily Sedro-Woolley team,” Sylvester said. “Except for three minutes in the second half, we stayed right with them all night.”
Fourth-seeded Sedro-Woolley (13-4-1) will play for the district title on its own field on Saturday night against either Shorecrest or Archbishop Murphy.
Sehome, for which standout midfielder Zach Wanne is the only senior, gave the far more experienced Cubs all they could handle — but the Mariners suffered mightily from the 52nd minute to the 55th minute.
In the 52nd minute, Sehome was called for a penalty in the box and Sedro sophomore Adrian Vasquez converted a perfectly aimed penalty kick.
Less than three minutes later, Vasquez broke free on a run of more than 50 yards and star multi-sport athlete Jackson Price caught up to him and then took Vasquez's perfect pass. Price converted a short power goal for a 2-0 lead.
“That was my fault,” Sylvester said of Woolley‘s sudden two-man fireworks show. “I should have had a man behind Camacho. If you don’t have a man behind him, you’re in big trouble.”
Not to mention a man marking the quick and ultra-athletic Price, if possible. Price’s remarkable basketball career earned the opportunity for the man of many moves to sign for hoops with Southwest Mountain Community College in Phoenix, Ariz.
Sehome held the Cubs — who came in with 61 goals scored and 27 allowed — without a shot on goal after Price’s score.
Even more impressive, the Mariners launched seven good shots in a wild nine-minute span beginning in the 63rd minute. It was no wonder Sylvester was far from discouraged.
Sedro goalkeeper Dylan Witzel, a 6-foot-5 junior, made six saves during that tense span to finish with 11 in an outstanding effort. The other shot in that crazy nine minutes — by Sehome junior Isaac DeVange with 10 minutes to play — looked for sure like a goal until the ball curled and spun off the right post.
“It was a heck of a strong game. Our guys created some great opportunities,” said Sylvester. “I just thought it was a shame that a very loose PK call should change the tide of the game with their first goal.”
Warman said the Cubs showed why everyone fears the Cubs’ quick-strike abilities.
“We’re a transition team,” he said. “But what I’m most proud of is that zero on Sehome’s side of the scoreboard. That was our most complete game against a quality opponent at a key time.”
The Cubs, who came in with only two shutouts all season, are now 8-1-1 in their past 10 games. Sehome suffered its first loss in an eight-game span after the young Mariners opened the season 3-4-3 in their first 10 games.
The Mariners have proven consistently stubborn, having allowed only 26 goals in 18 games, including a shutout of defending state champion Squalicum in their district opener to end the Storm’s 40-game unbeaten streak.
Other than 10 goals against Blaine, however, the Mariner have scored only 25. To have a winning record with such statistics shows why Sylvester is proud of just how stubborn Sehome can be.
Mariners goalie Devin Trueb turned in four saves and made numerous long kicks.
Warman, who has coached more than 50 boys’ and girls’ varsity teams over the past three decades-plus, enjoyed his biggest soccer moment since last May 23. On that day, his Cubs won a state quarterfinal with an overtime goal and an instant later his iPad pinged to let him know that his daughter, Emily, the former Western Washington University track All-America, had presented him with his first grandchild.
But soccer hasn’t always been full of good memories for Warman — his boys have lost two consecutive state semifinals on shootouts. This year, with his most experienced team, it seems he might have better luck.
Sedro-Woolley 2, Sehome 0
Assist on Price's goal correction on May 13, 2015.