After losing 2-1 to Mount Tahoma at Harry Lang Stadium on Saturday in the West Central III/Southwest bi-district tournament, Peninsula’s players were in disbelief.
A win would have put the Seahawks into the state tournament. Instead, their season was over, just like that.
“We were dominating the game, we kept the ball possessed,” said Peninsula’s Teyj Menon, who scored the Seahawks’ lone goal on a free kick early in the second half. “But we stooped down to their level. We couldn’t play our game. We couldn’t do that at all in the second half. It’s disappointing.”
Credit the T-Birds for forcing Peninsula into a style of game that didn’t suit them.
“Our play style is to possess the ball, move the ball forward, not just bypassing the midfield just to go forward,” Menon said. “We were playing at that level.”
Mount Tahoma struck first in the 25th minute, when Jaime Camacho-Gonzales went down in the box, earning a penalty for the T-Birds. Senior Raul Ramirez took the shot and nailed it, putting the T-Birds up 1-0.
But Peninsula came back, and earned a free kick from just over 15 yards out early in the second half. Teyj Menon delivered a perfectly weighted shot over the wall and into the top right corner of the goal. But just a couple minutes later, Mount Tahoma’s Allan Hernandez added a second goal in the 49th minute, stunning the Seahawks.
With the exception of Keeton Heggerness beating a defender and hitting the post in the 60th minute, Peninsula wasn’t able to find many clean looks in the final third.
“Just the final pass (was lacking),” Menon said. “We got up the field but we just couldn’t connect the final pass and that’s what kills us.”
Menon, a senior, delivered a beauty of a goal on the free kick in his final high school soccer game. But he said he didn’t take much solace in that fact.
“It’s just about winning,” Menon said. “It’s a team sport. There’s nothing I’d rather do than just have our team win.”
Peninsula will have to say goodbye to a strong senior class, including Menon, forward Keeton Heggerness, midfielder Ben Stanford, goalkeeper Ben Undem and others. It will be no easy task replacing this year’s group next season.
“I love every member on this team,” Menon said. “The seniors, I’ve played with for four years now. We’re all brothers. It’s disappointing to walk away with it.”