As the sun set over Stadium Bowl in Tacoma, the Stadium High School Tigers’ chances of advancing past the first round of the Class 3A state soccer playoffs faded away again.
The Tigers struggled against an overwhelming Lakeside of Seattle offense, and were eliminated in a 5-1 loss.
"This game is behind us now and we’re already looking at next season — at who we have, and how we rebuild, and how do we get past this first round," Stadium coach Raphael Cox said. "It's kind of been the last two years this first round has given us trouble."
Stadium (14-2-2) hasn't advanced past the first round of the state playoffs since its fourth-place finish in 4A in 2011.
The Tigers lost in the first round to Richland (2013) and West Seattle (2017) in their last two appearances.
"We’ve done well in league, but for some reason when we get to the playoffs we’re a little bit of a different team," Cox said. "Maybe as a coaching staff we need to look back at the drawing board and figure out how we re-energize or recreate our team for the playoffs."
The match was competitive, as both teams remained scoreless through most of the first half.
Will Barton scored the opening goal in the 29th minute to give Lakeside a 1-0 lead. Barton completed a hat track in the first half, pushing the Lions' lead to 3-0 at the break.
"The halftime adjustments were just to throw numbers forward," Cox said. "We ended up moving Kendall Burks into the attack because he usually creates goals. Either he scores or he assists goals right away."
One of the keys with Burks was his ability to turn a throw-in into a cross, which created a chance that ended up making its way into the goal.
But that was the only goal for Stadium, and it was too late to mount a comeback, as Lakeside added two more goals in the second half.
"We’re still looking very strong for league," Cox said. "We’ll just look to fine tune and figure out a way to make a push in state."
At Redmond 3, North Thurston 1: The Mustangs scored three unanswered goals in the final seven minutes of the first half, ending North Thurston's (14-4) season.
Angel Hernandez fired in a shot for a goal in the 33rd minute, and lifted the ball over the North Thurston goalkeeper in the 37th to give Redmond a 2-0 lead.
The Mustangs scored again moments later to take a 3-0 lead into the break.
Jackson Winterrowd connected for North Thurston's only goal late in the second half.
At Snohomish 7, Mount Tahoma 2: An offensive onslaught ended the season for the T-Birds (12-4-3) at Veteran's Memorial Stadium.
Nathan Nicholson scored four goals for the Panthers in a win.
At Gig Harbor 2, Interlake 1: The Tides scored midway through the first half and held the lead throughout to advance to the quarterfinals at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy.
Gig Harbor's Max Frank proved to be a matchup nightmare for the Saints, and set up the opening goal in the 24th minute.
Frank beat his defender and crossed the ball in front of the goal, allowing Jacob Cronk to complete an easy tap-in.
Nick Lavinder added to the Tides' lead in the 35th minute, netting his first varsity goal off of a corner kick.
Gig Harbor took a 2-0 lead into the half, and held on late to survive.
Interlake's Cameron Rao ended the shutout in the 75th minute, but the Saints couldn't score an equalizer.
Gig Harbor (14-0-3) travels to meet Garfield (14-1-4) later this week. The Bulldogs shut out Squalicum, 3-0, in their opener.
At Pasco 3, Todd Beamer 0: A year after the Titans upended Pasco for their first state title in program history, the Bulldogs flipped the script.
Oscar Cortez scored in the fourth minute to give the Bulldogs an early lead at Edgar Brown Stadium. Pasco took the 1-0 lead into the break.
The Bulldogs added two more goals in the second half from Jorge Magana (55th minute) and Edwin Aquino (64th), ending Beamer's (12-5-3) season with a first-round shutout.
At Skyline 1, Auburn Riverside 0: The Ravens' (14-3-2) season came to an end with a shutout loss to Skyline in Issaquah.
At Sumner 2, Mount Si 1: Mitchell Hutter's goal midway through the second half at Sunset Chev Stadium was enough to send the Spartans (17-2) to the quarterfinals.
After a long throw-in by Alec LaBarge landed in a crowded box, Hutter slipped behind Mount Si defenders and fired the decisive goal into the back of the net.
The Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the first half, but LaBarge punched in the equalizer before the break.
Sumner meets Glacier Peak (13-3-1) later this week. The Grizzlies shut out Olympia, 2-0, in the first round.
At Glacier Peak 2, Olympia 0: Neither team scored in the first half at Glacier Peak High School in Snohomish, but the Grizzlies broke through twice after the break to send the Bears (10-7-2) home.
Teagen Rubio scored the decisive goal in the 52nd minute, connecting on a header off of a free kick.
Brandon Seed snuck a second goal through a crowded box for Glacier Peak in the 76th minute to seal the win.
At Franklin Pierce 2, East Valley of Spokane 1: Gilbert De La Luz and Brayan Valladares-Salvador both connected for goals to preserve Franklin Pierce's undefeated season, and send the Cardinals (18-0-2) to the quarterfinals.
De La Luz connected for his 24th goal of the season in the 18th minute, after a shot by Trinidad Zuniga rebounded.
Valladares-Salvador then scored in the 61st minute off of a Brandon Amezcua header.
East Valley's lone goal was the first Franklin Pierce has allowed in four matches.
The Cardinals host the winner of Wednesday's match between R.A. Long and Sehome later this week.
University Prep 3, at Vashon Island 2: The Pirates struck first, and scored twice in the opening half, but University Prep rallied for a win at Mount Tahoma High School in Tacoma.
Ty Maider broke a 2-2 tie with the game's decisive goal in the 74th minute to end the season for Vashon (14-2-3).
Staff writers Jon Manley and Lauren Smith contributed to this report.