By Oliver Lazenby
The Blaine boys soccer team took a loss and a tie in the last week against two tough opponents. They now have a 2–2–2 record overall and a 1–1–1 record in conference games.
Getting through those two tough games with a decent record intact bodes well for the Borderites. Their upcoming opponents could be a little easier, at least until they play Sedro-Woolley (4–1–1) on Thursday, April 12.
“I think this week could be key for us,” Quesada said. “If we get through this with some wins we’ll continue on with a lot of energy.”
On March 22, Blaine lost 9–1 to Sehome (4–1–1 overall) at Phillips 66 Soccer Park in Ferndale. Sehome got an early lead and never looked back.
Senior Alieu Diaw scored Blaine’s lone goal on a penalty kick.
Despite that blowout, Blaine played a competitive game against Anacortes, another team that’s at the top of the conference with a 4–0–2 overall record, at home on March 26.
Both teams took good shots in the first half, but Anacortes scored the first goal. Blaine sophomore Miguel Magallon tied the game in the 57th minute after dribbling through Anacortes’s defense and pitching a shot at a narrow angle past Sehome’s keeper.
“I tell my kids to go play for a win every game, but if you can take a tie against the big teams, that’s a plus.” Quesada said. “I’m really proud how the guys played and came back from 1-0. They played with a lot of discipline and fought for every 50/50 ball.”
So why did Monday’s game turn out so different from the 9–1 loss to Sehome? For one thing, despite being close in the standings, Sehome is a bit more experienced than Anacortes.
Another factor is that Blaine played Anacortes at home. Blaine plays better on grass (they played Sehome on turf) and playing at home can be a bigger advantage when it’s pouring rain, as it was against Anacortes; the Borderites know the sloshy spots on their own field.
Beyond that, Sehome’s early success in the game made a recovery difficult, Quesada said. Sehome scored two goals early on and Blaine just couldn’t recover.
“They got down mentally. In any sport you have good days and bad days,” Quesada said.
Blaine plays next against Nooksack at 4:30 p.m. on Friday, March 30, at home.