PORT ORCHARD – South Kitsap High School boys soccer coach Cory Vartanian knew in the first few minutes of Wednesday's match against Mount Vernon that his Wolves would be hard pressed to keep up with the visiting Bulldogs.
Mount Vernon used its speed and strong possession skills to wear down the Wolves, winning 4-0 in the first-round Class 4A state tournament game at Kitsap Bank Stadium.
Mount Vernon (14-4-1) moves on to play Eastmont in the quarterfinals. South Kitsap sees its season end at 9-9-2.
"That's a heckuva team right there," Vartanian said of Mount Vernon. "That's a well-organized team that's extremely fast and extremely disciplined within their shape."
Mount Vernon wasted little time getting into the attack. Junior midfielder Francisco Delacruz scored in the sixth minute as senior midfielder Andres Macedo-Flores found him on the far side of South Kitsap's defense with a cross that he quickly knocked into the net.
In the 25th minute, junior midfielder Johnathan Salazar found junior midfielder Marco Quezada — the team's leading scorer with 11 goals — with a perfect cross and Quezada split South Kitsap’s defense for a 2-0 lead.
Salazar put another one on the board in the 44th minute as senior midfielder Dakota Stanmes pounced on a loose ball in the penalty box and fed Salazar for the quick goal.
Quezada rounded out the scoring for Mount Vernon in the 68th minute off an assist from Jorge Rodriguez.
"I feel like we came out with a very good plan put in place," Mount Vernon coach Behr Ibarra said. "The goal was to draw them out and put possession in the midfield and we did that very well. Even though it's a narrow field, we spread them out and got them to commit to one side and then counter the other way."
Despite the rough loss, Vartanian said he was pleased the Wolves qualified for state after finishing fifth in the South Puget Sound League 4A.
"Overall, in talking with our seniors, this is a goal they were shooting for since they were freshmen," he said. "They did so, so we're happy with our accomplishment."
Puyallup 4, at Skyview 1: Dane Helle scored twice as the Vikings cruised to an opening-round win at Kiggins Bowl in Vancouver.
Helle broke a scoreless tie in the 29th minute, when he punched in a header from Ethan Carlson off of a throw-in.
An own goal by the Storm in the 37th minute gave Puyallup a 2-0 lead at the break.
Skyview responded, scoring two minutes into the second half, but Helle struck again in the 59th minute to push Puyallup's lead to 3-1.
The Vikings put an exclamation point on the win in the 80th minute on a Craig Johnson goal.
Puyallup (17-2) hosts Skyline (14-1-3) in the quarterfinals at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Bellingham 4, Fife 0: The season ended for the Trojans (12-8-1) in a shutout loss at Civic Stadium in Bellingham.
Staff writer Lauren Smith contributed to this report.