Sehome did everything in its power, nearly to perfection, against Class 2A soccer juggernaut Archbishop Murphy.
But in the end one team was going to leave Sunset Chev Stadium unhappy, and as the Mariners learned penalty kicks can supply an evil, crushing blow.
“They really believed in themselves,” Sehome coach John Sylvester said. “As a coach, I can only be proud when they play their best or not, and they played their best. They deserved to win, but sometimes penalty kicks are a cruel mistress.”
Sehome and Archbishop Murphy found themselves in the sudden-death round of PKs after both teams converted four of its first five. Mariners goalkeeper Devin Trueb nearly blocked a shot by Wildcats’ Mitchell Lovell, but the ball hit Trueb before bouncing over him and into the net.
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Sehome’s Rylan Hinkle, needing to put one past ATM goalie Michael Truong to keep the Mariners alive, struck the inside half of the post with his ball, and the Wildcats celebrated, leaving Sehome stunned at midfield.
Despite a tremendous effort, Sehome suffered a 0-0 (5-4 PK) loss to Archbishop Murphy during the Class 2A State Tournament on Friday, May 27, in Sumner.
The loss, which comes two weeks after Sehome (18-2-3) lost to the defending state champs 3-0 in the district tournament final, sends the Mariners to a third-place game against either Lindbergh or Quincy at noon Saturday, May 28, at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
“It’s a bummer that it goes to penalties, but the ones we missed were great shots,” Sylvester said. “I can’t pick out one thing where I could say, ‘Wow, we could have done that better.”
In fact, after a first half in which Archbishop Murphy created more chances, Sehome had the Wildcats on their heels at points during the second half.
Perhaps Sehome’s best chance came in the 56th minute when Mason Rathkamp fed a ball to Jack Willis, who found some open space close to Archbishop Murphy’s goal. Willis beat the keeper with the shot to the right, but a defender barely got a foot on the ball before it found the back of the net.
The opportunity arguably was the best either team had all night.
Charlie Lahud nearly ended the game in dramatic fashion during regulation’s closing minutes when he came close to converting a miraculous bicycle kick from 12 yards out. His shot barley sailed over the crossbar.
“I thought in the second half we outlasted them,” Sylvester said. “That bicycle kick was inches from going in, we had some great crosses, great runs and defensively we just shut them down.”
Not since ATM suffered its only loss of the season during its opener, has a team held the Wildcats scoreless.
Noah Byford, Thomas Greenan, Manny Pacheco-Rodriguez and Kiefer Thomas were a few of the Mariners’ defensive standouts, and Trueb made two crucial first half saves.
“We worked so hard to get here, and we had a lion’s-hearted effort as it got closer to the end,” Sylvester said. “We just beleived more and more, and I think that’s why we played better and better.”