It was too little, too late for the Washington soccer Blue Jays.
Despite scoring a goal with less than a minute to go, the Blue Jays fell to Timberland, 3-1, in the first round of the Class 4 District 7 Tournament Monday.
Washington ended its season with a record of 8-15, Head Coach Derek Schriewer’s best in his time coaching the Blue Jays.
“All in all, our guys played a great game,” Schriewer said. “I told them there’s nothing to hand their heads on, we played a good team tonight. The ball didn’t bounce our way.”
The Blue Jays came out executing their game plan in the first half, but couldn’t find the net despite several chances.
Sixteen minutes into the first half, Timberland struck first on a deflection that Washington sophomore goalie Christian Longseth couldn’t get to.
Schriewer went with Longseth in net over senior Cole Fregalette. Both were vying for the starting role after junior keeper Jacob Devore broke his hand against Ft. Zumwalt East Oct. 13.
Schriewer felt like Longseth was the more reliable option for Monday’s game.
“It was a really tough decision,” he said. “Christian had an incredible JV season and Cole had a few games he was in where he bobbled balls that led to goals. In the postseason, you can’t have goalies costing your team the game. I had confidence in both goalies, but with Christian putting up 11 shutouts in 17 games on JV, it was pretty tough to not put him in there.”
Washington had a chance to tie it up late in the half when freshman Michael Andrews stole the ball and had a breakaway, but he launched well over the net.
Schriewer was pleased with how his team played in the first half.
“I think we executed very well in the first half,” Schriewer said. “We knew what we needed to do and I felt like we went out and did it. The other coach said after the game we had them in the first half. We created a lot of chances and the guys we wanted to have those chances were there, and they didn’t put them away in that first half.”
But after a halftime talk by Schriewer that stressed keeping it a one-score game, Timberland came out and scored again a little over five minutes into the second half.
Sophomore Andrew Domalewski rocketed a lefty kick into the net, giving the Wolves a cushion.
At 21:45 in the second half, Timberland tacked on another score by sophomore Cullen Barr.
A tactical change by the Wolves led to the goals, Schriewer said.
“They came out with a really good tempo and tactic in the second half,” he said. “We could tell they were targeting our wingbacks with long balls and it kind of created some problems for us. I think that’s what led to a few of their goals. I think our execution of the game plan went a little awry because of the tactic they came back out with.”
The Blue Jays had a chance to cut into the lead when senior Koby Holtmeyer snuck behind the defense on a free kick and headed it towards the net, but Timberland goalie Will Ingmire was there for the save.
With less than a minute remaining, Washington got on the board on a goal by Andrews.
But that was all the Blue Jays could get before the final whistle.
Schriewer was proud of how his team fought, and how far the program has come since the Blue Jays faced Timberland in the district tournament two years ago.
“Two years ago, these seniors were sophomores and about five of them were regular players when we lost to Timberland, 6-0, in the first round of districts,” he said.
“We just fell apart in that game. Tonight, to go down 3-0 and battle to the last minute to get a goal, that describes our program. They figured out how to fight and how to keep themselves close in games.”