Soccer season ends in tough playoff loss

Alieu Diaw looks for an opening in Lynden’s defense. Photos by Jeanie Lyons

By Oliver Lazenby

The Blaine boys varsity soccer team’s season ended in a tough loss in the first round of the playoffs, but there’s something to celebrate; the team finished with a winning record for the first time in at least a decade.

Blaine led for most of the first-round, but they couldn’t hang on as Lynden scored twice in the second half to win 2–1.

Blaine’s Evan Potter scored five minutes into the game and Blaine kept Lynden scoreless through the first half.

Blaine goalkeeper Anthony Persse had seven saves against Lynden on May 3.

“The early goal surprised everybody,” said Blaine head coach Gio Quesada; Lynden came into the game with a better regular season record than Blaine. “You could feel how much we wanted to win after that goal.”

Lynden’s Carlos Cartagena scored in the 50th minute and Austin Anderson scored Lynden’s winning goal in the 64th.

“Lynden just managed to finish better on their chances,” Quesada said. In all, neither team had a lot of scoring opportunities. Blaine goalkeeper Anthony Persse made seven saves and Lynden’s keeper made five.

“It was a tough loss, believe me,” Quesada said. “But it’s soccer, somebody needs to win.”

The loss caps Blaine’s season, which may be the first winning season in history for a Blaine boys soccer team and certainly the first in the history of the Northwest Conference, which began in 2007.

Blaine’s record is 6–5–2 in conference games. Blaine finished last season with a 4–7–2 record in conference games and 0–10–2 the season before.

“The winning record says a lot for the team. That’s payback for a lot of extra hours on the field,” Quesada said. “I always tell the kids, let’s go try to make history. I want the kids to remember it forever.”

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