Before Northwest Conference champion Sehome’s last league boys’ soccer game, coach John Sylvester said he “couldn’t be prouder of where we are.”
He said he could stand by his statement even though second-place Anacortes held the Mariners to a 0-0 tie on Monday, May 2, at Civic Stadium.
Sehome’s potent offense — which came in with 20 goals in its past five games after scoring 21 in its first 10 contests — was shut out for the first time this season. However, the Mariners (13-0-3 overall, 10-0-2 NWC) allowed only one shot and posted their 10th shutout, having permitted only six goals in 16 games.
“We both wanted more time,” Sylvester said of himself and Seahawks coach Darren Bell. “The difference was that Anacortes (8-3-5, 8-0-4) sped up their defensive tempo more than any team we’ve played, and that kept us from getting clean shots. But this will keep us humble and now we know what we have to work on.”
WHAT IT MEANS
No. 1 seed Sehome will face one of the two No. 8 seed Bellingham (9-4-3, 8-3-1) in the opening round of the eight-team, double-elimination Class 2A Northwest District Tournament at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at Civic Field.
“It’s frustrating to have to play a team as strong as Bellingham in the opening round,” said Sylvester, who pointed out that the Red Raiders “are anything but a No. 8 seed.”
Sehome and Bellingham tied 1-1 in their non-league opener, and the Mariners managed a 1-0 win over the Red Raiders in their fourth game, which was a league opener.
“We have so much respect for our league and for Bellingham,” said Sylvester, who has guided the Mariners to seven district berths in eight years as coach. “I was happy to find out they are working on a better seeding system for next year, a system involving rankings based on a formula.”
A GREAT KEEPER
The Mariners earned a dozen shots to Anacortes’ one.
“But their keeper (Zachary Bowman, who had seven saves) was great in the air,” Sylvester said. “He just stopped everything. He was just great.”