Sports

Marysville-Pilchuck soccer falls short at state

Senior forward Brady Ballew, 10, flicks a Stadium corner kick in the second half. - Travis Sherer
Senior forward Brady Ballew, 10, flicks a Stadium corner kick in the second half.
— image credit: Travis Sherer

TACOMA — Nobody likes excuses, and the Tommies soccer team is no different.

After being knocked out of the 4A state tournament quarterfinal in a 2-0 loss to Stadium, Marysville-Pilchuck’s players were sad, but resilient.

“We should be proud of everything we’ve accomplished this season,” said M-P coach Geoff Kittle. “It’s unfortunate that we didn’t get to keep playing, but making it to the quarterfinals again this year isn’t easy. And these guys battled through a lot of injuries and adversity this season.”

Finishing with a record of 15-6-1, the Tommies began the match with an unfocused flow of play as they were unable to maintain possession from the Tigers.

“I think we kind of came out a little intimidated, which is too bad because once we settled in, we were right there with them,” Kittle said.

Unfortunately for the Tomahawks, Stadium, which hadn’t lost at home all season, was able to score before they were able to get over playing a more physically imposing team that has been ranked No. 1 in the state for the past few weeks. On what first seemed like an uneventful counterattack, Stadium’s Jamael Cox scurried down to the end line and lined a hard bouncing cross from the left side that was barely tapped in by the head of Dylan Gaydosh in the 15th minute.

“We were ball watching,” Kittle said. “We knew what to expect from Stadium. We knew (Cox) and (Gaydosh) linked up for goals all year. If we marked him, it would have been no problem and it would have been nil-nil most of the match.”

It was the one time in the match were Tommies keeper Kyle Bluhm was out of position, as he was stalwart for M-P throughout the contest, amassing 11 saves — nearly a handful of which were the diving variety.

“He made some good saves and that was nice,” Kittle said.

Cox scored again from a penalty kick in the 77th minute to put away the match after being tackled from behind while inside the area.

M-P lacked a significant amount of chances to score, managing just one in the first half, while tacking on another five in the second. The shot ratio ended being 22-6 in Stadium’s favor.

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