Ever since the Sumner High boys soccer team came back to nearly full strength three weeks ago, the Spartans have been on a tear. And it was no different when they faced North Thurston on Thursday night at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
From start to finish, Sumner (11-5) controlled the pace of the game, earning a decisive 3-1 win over the Rams in an SPSL/Narrows League West Central District 3/4 matchup.
Sumner moves on to face Auburn Mountainview at 10 a.m. Saturday in a loser-out game at Highline Memorial Stadium for the district’s No. 5 seed at the Class 3A state tournament.
“It was good ... the guys didn’t get discouraged when they scored their goal,” Sumner coach Peter Voiles said.
North Thurston finished the season 5-8-1 with the loss.
After North Thurston’s Jose Aguilar’s game-tying goal in the 53rd minute off a set piece Sumner midfielder Nick Phillips couldn’t clear, the Spartans came back alive.
“(Their goal) was just one I couldn’t get to — you can’t get to them all,” Sumner goalie Sam Jacobsen said.
The final 25 minutes of the game looked like the first 40 when Sumner completely controlled the pace of the game. The first half saw Sumner outshoot North Thurston, 12-1.
After a set-piece scrum led to Sumner taking a 2-1 lead in the 64th minute, the Spartans didn’t let up, getting six more shots on North Thurston keeper Brian Porter.
The game was put out of reach for good when Sumner forward Drew Wehmer hit a cutback on a Rams’ defender before launching a no-contest goal in the 72nd minute to put the game away.
“After their goal, the guys started to play more together and moved the ball around better,” Voiles said.
North Thurston wasn’t ready for Sumner in the first half. The Spartans kept the Rams on their heels as the ball spent nearly the entire first half in North Thurston territory.
“You have to give a lot of credit to (Sumner) as they’re a good team,” North Thurston coach Matt Herrera said. “They came out ready to play today.”
Despite the barrage, the Rams only allowed one goal after Sumner’s InigoJorge Rodrigo walked in the goal in the 5th minute when Porter couldn’t handle Armoni Atherton’s shot.
“I was just running and then I was like, ‘Oh, it’s the ball,’” Rodrigo said. “I just relaxed and breathed slowly to score … I grabbed the ball, and when I decide to do something, I do it.”