The Fife High School boys soccer team waltzed through the 2A South Puget Sound League, going unbeaten in league play and allowing only five goals.
But what the Trojans ran into in the 2A West Central/Sea-King bidistrict tournament Thursday was a completely different beast.
They lost to Liberty, 3-1, in the 2A district semifinals at Franklin Pierce. Fife heads to a winner-to-state, loser-out game against Foster at noon Saturday at Art Crate Field in Spanaway.
“We knew it was going to be tough,” Fife coach Tony Crudo said. “Only because we haven’t played anybody. I’m not putting our league down, but it just wasn’t a really hard league. Now we are playing teams that have had to fight every week, tooth and nail, to get a point.
“We didn’t get bloodied, as they say.”
Liberty scored its first goal in the first five minutes of the match, courtesy of Tyler Jensen.
Fife’s Efren Monzon got his team-leading 19th goal of the season in the 26th minute to tie it, but Liberty regained the lead four minutes later on a header from Nate Steenis.
“Their team played really well. We actually did a pretty good job,” Crudo said. “There were times we were kind of pounding on them, but they covered each other well, they didn’t let us do our quick splits that we are really good at and they held on. That’s life.”
Liberty advances to the district title game to face Tyee at 7 p.m. Saturday at Franklin Pierce.
White River 1, Franklin Pierce 0 (shootout): Hayden Grimm connected on the match-clinching kick to lift the Hornets — thanks to an 8-7 advantage on penalty kicks — and end the Cardinals’ season.
White River earned an automatic state berth with the victory and advances to face Kingston at 10 a.m. Saturday at Art Crate Field in Bethel for the No. 5 or 6 seed to the 2A state tournament.
Franklin Pierce’s season ends at 11-4-0.
Auburn Mountainview 1, Wilson 0: Lions coach Jason Shrader said he hadn’t seen a leg like the one attached to Rams goalkeeper Alek Greenleaf all season.
Greenleaf could dropkick from Wilson’s goal into the box on the other end of the field. Any time he let it fly was an opportunity to score, but the Rams never capitalized.
“That was challenging for us,” Shrader said with a chuckle. “And it was especially tough because of the sun. … I was holding my breath on all of those, hoping we would get it.”
Auburn Mountainview’s Jared Lewis (“our best hustler,” Shrader said) scored the game’s lone goal in the 20th minute and the Lions’ defense held on from there.
The loss ended Wilson’s season. AMV will play Sumner in a winner-to-state game at 10 a.m. Saturday at Highline Memorial Stadium.
“We started pretty slow,” Rams coach Jason Gjertsen said. “I thought we outplayed them in the second half but we were missing that final piece — in goal.”
Central Kitsap 1, Auburn Riverside 0: Ravens coach Robyn Saarenas said her team hit about every spot on the field, including the goal post. But they never sent the ball inside the goal.
“We probably had a million chances and did not capitalize,” Saarenas said.
Central Kitsap’s Jaeger Skifstad scored in the 57th minute off a free kick.
The Cougars advance to the 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict title match against Kennedy Catholic. Auburn Riverside plays Columbia River in a winner-to-state, loser-out match at 2 p.m. Saturday at Highline Memorial Stadium.
“We hit the post, seven corners, we definitely had something in front of the net,” Saarenas said. “I would love to have them play that team again.”
Sumner 3, North Thurston 1: Ever since the Spartans came back to nearly full strength three weeks ago, they have been on a tear.
From start to finish, Sumner controlled the pace of the match and now gets to move on to face Auburn Mountainview after winning its eighth consecutive match.
“It was good as the guys didn’t get discouraged when they scored their goal,” Sumner coach Peter Voiles said.
North Thurston’s (5-8-1) season ends with the loss.
Shelton 2, Peninsula 0: After a 10-0 start to the season, the Seahawks ended their season Thursday.
Shelton advances to face Hazen, which beat Capital, 2-1, in a winner-to-state, loser-out match at noon Saturday at Highline Memorial Stadium.