Stanwood deals Arlington soccer a setback

ARLINGTON — By the same margin as their early season win, Arlington was handed a huge setback in their postseason dreams when Stanwood soccer came to Arlington for Senior Night.

Stanwood scored a pair of goals in the first 13 minutes of the May 1 game, which would end up being all the offense the Spartans would need to win 2-1 in the perennial Stilly Valley rivalry.

Jake Smith came back with an unassisted goal in the 14th minute and had appeared to tie it up with another in the 73rd minute, but the latter was called off by officials and Arlington fought frantically in the last seven minutes for a chance at overtime.

“Stanwood came out ready to play and put two goals in the net,” said Arlington coach Mike Gudgeon. “We came out sloppy. They got those two goals early and held on.”

Falling to 6-8, Arlington’s best chance for a district playoff berth is to finish in fifth place and earn a play-in game May 9 against the Wesco South fourth seed.

With a 2-12-1 record, Stanwood could only play spoiler to Arlington’s district aspirations, but the intensity of the rivalry made the loss an even more bitter pill to swallow. From the end of Arlington’s April 25 game against Lake Stevens until the Stanwood game, Arlington players were forbidden from donning red.

“It’s so huge,” said a visibly dejected Gudgeon, whose parents were on each side of the rivalry in high school, and whose wife also went to rival Stanwood, while he’s an Arlington alum. “You know you’re going to hear about it the rest of your life.”

The seniors of Arlington soccer include captains Robert O’Day and Andy Henderson as well as Jacob Krieg, Jimmy Mitzelfeldt, James Chesnutt, Garrett Meyer, Alex Brittain and Walter Flores. They’re the second group Gudgeon has shepherded all the way throughout their high school careers.

“On the other hand, it is just a game,” Gudgeon added.

Arlington played Everett May 4 after the Times and Globe went to press, with a regular season-ender at Marysville-Pilchuck May 6 at 7 p.m.

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