Men's soccer falls to Whatcom 2-0 in semifinals
By Jarrett Spallino - Staff Reporter
Highline's men's soccer team ended their season as the third ranked team in the league and first in the West Region.
Highline played Whatcom Nov. 9 which resulted in a 2-0 loss for the Thunderbirds, who were the defending champs.
The T-Birds had no goals, including 16 fouls and yellow cards for both Jason Rodriguez and Gaoussou Doucoure.
"I didn't think we played our best soccer. Unfortunately, we just couldn't find a way to put the ball in the back of the net," Head Coach Steve Mohn said.
The T-Birds also played without their star player Ryley Johnson, who has been their leading scorer throughout the season. He suffered a knee cap injury in the game against Ta- coma (Oct. 24).
"It definitely hurt us to not have a guy like Ryley playing on Friday," Mohn said.
While Highline was playing Whatcom, Tacoma and Pierce had a semifinal game Friday night as well.
Tacoma beat Pierce 4-1 and advanced to the Championship game on Sunday, where Taco- ma played Whatcom for the NWAC title. The Titans beat Whatcom 2-0. Joseph Diacarlo and Bubacar Touray each scored one goal. Tacoma's goalie Evan Brewer had eight saves for all eight shots on goal.
The game ended with a total of 23 fouls, including three yellow cards for Alex Whiting, Allen Escalante, and Touray, all in second half.
With this championship, Ta- coma wins their second NWAC title in the last three years.
Even though Highline suffered a crucial defeat, Mohn still had words of praise for his team.
"Its always difficult not lifting the trophy at the very end, but it was still a really good season for us. Making it to the final four is a great accomplishment."
Highline looks to rebuild this offseason as their best players Rodriguez and Johnson will be leaving.
"Jason and Ryley will both be graduating. It's gonna be difficult to replace them but usually there's some guys that come in and step up real big," said Mohn. "Myself and the coaches and our players will get together and set some goals. We'll also get into recruiting
and hopefully bring another batch of good players."
With an optimistic future ahead of the T-Birds, Mohn had some encouraging words for his players.
"I'm just extremely proud of all the hard work and effort that everyone put in. I couldn't ask for more, and I'm really proud of the season we had. I'm also really excited to work with the freshman next year."