Needing a win and a tie, at least, to advance in the Washington Youth Soccer Presidents Cup, the South Whidbey Reign fought to a tie and a win in a doubleheader this past weekend.
The Reign, a U-19 boys soccer team, fought to a stalemate Jan. 31 in Langley against Washington Premier Football Club until the waning minutes. A Washington free kick in the 70th minute was deflected by a Reign player and into Whidbey’s goal for a 1-0 deficit. Whidbey recovered on a goal by Lucas Leiberman, and the Reign was able to hold to a tie.
On Feb. 1, the Reign traveled to Olympia to face the Black Hills Football Club. Leiberman scored the lone goal early to push South Whidbey ahead, while the defense held to move on to the quarterfinals of the Presidents Cup. Head coach Terry Swanson said goalie Charley Stelling made a pair of difficult saves to preserve the shutout.
Whidbey advanced to the quarterfinals based on cumulative points, and were .5 (the result of a tie) ahead of the next best team that missed out on qualifying.
From here on out, the tournament is a single-elimination format. The Reign will play Seattle United FC at 5 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 8, at Interbay Stadium in Seattle.
South Whidbey Reign players are: Bryce Auburn, Anders Bergquist, Coel, Cable, Max Cassee, Kai Da Rosa, Kameron Donohoe, John Gibson, Justin Gonzales, Quinn Hassrick, Davin Kesler, Lucas Leiberman Jeffrey Meier, Tucker Middlebrook, Lochlan Roberts, Oliver Saunsaucie, Charley Stelling, Thomas Swanson, and Andrew Zisette.