A pair of goals around the 20-minute mark put Bellevue Christian ahead in the second round of the state 1A boys soccer tournament against South Whidbey, and the Falcons were unable to tie the game in Covington at Tahoma High School on May 23.
Falling behind that deeply and quickly was unusual for South Whidbey, which had previously allowed only two goals in the postseason and only eight in the regular season through 16 matches.
“ll of sudden 25 minutes into the game, we’re two goals down, which has not happened except for maybe against Archbishop Murphy,” said Falcon co-head coach Emerson “Skip” Robbins.
“It was a very uncharacteristic defensive mistake,” he added.
South Whidbey answered near the end of the first half on a cross by senior Jeff Meier to senior Davin Kesler.
“Davin just willed it in basically,” Robbins said.
Trailing 2-1 going into the second half, Robbins said the Falcons were confident they could come back.
South Whidbey took a free kick about 30 yards out from its own goal, with keeper Charley Stelling booting the ball. Bellevue Christian won the ball, noticed Stelling was still well off the goal line and booted a 40-yard shot past him.
“It brushes the tops of his fingers and goes in,” Robbins said. “It was a great shot but wasn’t a shot a kid’s going to hit with any consistency. That was the nail in the coffin.”
Changing the formation with about 20 minutes remaining to get another goal, the switch worked. Falcon senior forward Kai da Rosa dribbled through several defenders and passed to senior defender Bryce Auburn for the Falcons’ second goal.
“They’re deer in the headlights at this point,” said Robbins of Bellevue Christian. “Unfortunately, not enough time left.”
South Whidbey (11-3-0 Cascade Conference, 17-5-0 overall) wrapped its season in the second round of the state 1A tournament for the second time in a row. The Falcons started with injured senior Andy Zisette on the field, Robbins said, but he was quickly pulled after noticing discomfort in his hip.
“There was never any quit in these guys. Never,” Robbins said.
“It’s going to be a long time before there’s a team at South Whidbey of this caliber,” he added.