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Falcons drop 3-2 match at state
Of the 16 teams that enter the state tournament, 15 lose their last game of the year.
Coach Fran Einterz wasn't expecting a 3-2 loss against Steilacoom Wednesday, but on Thursday said a loss is typically how most teams end their season.
"Steilacoom is a good team," Coach Einterz said. "We found out why they're undefeated."
In Sumner to play the favored Sentinels in the round of 16 of the state 2A tournament, the Falcons put up a fight, with senior Adam Jaffe scoring two goals as South Whidbey came up shy.
The Sentinels got the early lead on the Falcons, slipping a shot past senior goalkeeper Joe Gunn to take a 1-0 through the first half. But even with Jaffe's scores, the Steilacoom boys made enough offense to keep their lead.
Einterz said through the leadership efforts of the South Whidbey seniors, the team really came together towards the end of the season. South Whidbey won six straight games to close out their regular season and to qualify for playoffs.
The team loses eight seniors to graduation this year: Jasper Hein, Abe Smith-Groening, Jaffe, Tyler Nettlebeck, Scott Perkins, Joe Gunn, L.J. Godsey, and senior exchange student Luis Garcia.
"I'm very, very proud of this team," Einterz said. "I can't be too unhappy. We set the bar really high this year."
Team members were satisfied with the season, even though they only played one state tournament game.
"I'm going to miss all the memories and games, but I'm not disappointed with the season," Scott Perkins said Thursday.
After scoring eight goals this season, Perkins ends his soccer career. He will attend Washington State University in the fall. Since WSU has no soccer team, Perkins said he will take a shot at lacrosse.
Senior Abe Smith-Groening, who plans to travel to Europe this summer and attend Whitman College in the fall, said he was excited the Falcons had made it to the state playoffs.
"We had a slow start and had a peak last few games," he said.
South Whidbey finished the season with a 13-7 record. Steilacoom will advance to play the North Cascades champion Sultan today.
The Falcons will have seven starters returning to the varsity lineup in 2004, according to Einterz.
"With seven returning starters those guys are gonna be tough next year," he said.
Einterz filled in for Falcon coach Mark Helpenstell while Helpenstell took a leave of absence. Helpenstell is expected to return to coach the team next season.