WENATCHEE — Wahluke soccer’s season came to a bittersweet end on Tuesday night, as the Warriors lost in extra time to Cascade 3-2 in the first round of the 1A State Tournament.
Wahluke collected the first shot on goal of the game, but the Kodiaks came out firing on all cylinders from that point on. Cascade had 10 shots in the first half to just one for the Warriors.
The score remained even until late in the first half when the Kodiaks were able finally break through with a shot 31 minutes into the game. Four minutes later, a foul inside the box gave Cascade the penalty to help give them a 2-0 edge going into the half.
Less than two minutes into the second half, fortune struck the Warriors as a foul in the box gave Wahluke a penalty of their own, bringing them within a goal at 2-1 with the goal from Ana Andrade. Less than five minutes later, a loose ball caught the Cascade goalie away from the net as she was forced to foul the Wahluke forward for yet another penalty, as the score went even at 2-2 with Jessica Macias’ goal.
Much like the first half, the Kodiaks kept control for the most part, but were unable to put anything in the back of the net, thanks in large part in the play of the Wahluke keeper.
Going into extra time, Cascade was able to strike two minutes into the first period with a long ball from the side to take the match and advance.
The Kodiaks finished with 15 shots to just three for the Warriors in the match.
Wahluke head coach Cele Lopez said they talk a lot about “will” and felt that has girls showed a lot of heart in the match and the season.
“We did so much with so little, we were so limited at the beginning of the season and we’re here,” Lopez said. “I totally enjoy the game and this is a team I love to coach. I’m really proud of my girls.”
Outmatched for most of the first half and holding a two-goal deficit, Lopez said he asked his team at the half one question, “Is that it?”
“Are you guys just happy making it to state, is that enough?” Lopez said he asked his team. “It’s been twenty years with no league champs, no state-bound, and now we’re here, you’re just gonna throw it away? But they showed some heart, said they wanted it, and they almost got it.”
Lopez said after the match that he’s proud of everything his team accomplished over the season, and credits their commitment to improving over the summer and each day in practice.
For the Warriors, Tuesday marked the last match for five seniors on the team. In his third season as head coach, Lopez said he has grown close with the group since he started with them as sophomores.
“They’re my daughters,” Lopez said. “We have this communication in and out of the field, I know the family from town and they mean the world to me. They’re leaving a legacy.”
With many of the seniors on the defensive line, Lopez said that will be the main hole to fill moving into next year, with an attack he said he’s happy with going into next season.
“I’m just excited and want to see what the future is going to bring us,” Lopez said.