Jesse Major/for Peninsula News Sequim’s Hannah Wagner boots a shot on goal during the Wolves 3-1 Bi-District Tournament victory over Orting on Thursday at Peninsula College’s Wally Sigmar Field.

Jesse Major/for Peninsula News Sequim’s Hannah Wagner boots a shot on goal during the Wolves 3-1 Bi-District Tournament victory over Orting on Thursday at Peninsula College’s Wally Sigmar Field.

BI-DISTRICT SOCCER: Sequim stands up, dispatches Orting

Johnson, Wagner, Lestage shine for Wolves

Editor’s Note: Sammamish defeated Sequim 3-0 Saturday afternoon, ending Sequim’s season.

PORT ANGELES — Sequim stepped up and controlled its loser-out Bi-District girls soccer contest with Orting, topping the Cardinals 3-1 Thursday night at Wally Sigmar Field at Peninsula College.

The eighth-seeded Wolves (11-5-0) faced Sammamish, the fifth-seed, in a winner-to-state game Saturday at North Mason High School.

The Wolves were humbled a bit earlier last week in a 5-0 loss to tournament top seed Fife, the No. 4 team in the state RPI rankings.

Coach Ken Garling was confident his team would respond favorably.

“Responded really well and that’s a sign of a good team that’s able to overcome some adversity and go out and put that beside them because we have another game to play,” Garling said.

Sophomore speedster Taryn Johnson said the team is still focused on its goal of making the state tournament.

“I think we came back really well, we were motivated from that loss to get back in it,” Johnson said. “We want to make it to state.”

And the Wolves simply worked harder and played smarter than their Orting counterparts.

“We needed to have that no-quit attitude,” Johnson said. “I know Sequim is all about that no-quit.”

The Wolves opened the scoring in the 16th minute when Johnson played a ball into Hannah Wagner in the goal box and Wagner was fouled, drawing a penalty kick which she deposited in the left side of the net.

Orting counterattacked for a tying goal by Hannah Sullenger in the 30th minute, but Sequim answered quickly.

After a long dribble up field, Johnson sent a perfectly timed ball over to sophomore Teagen Moore on the right side of the goal box. Moore sent a ripper of a shot past the Cardinal’s goalie for a 2-1 halftime advantage.

The Cardinals seemed reluctant to press the question offensively until they trailed by two goals late in the game. And Kaia Lestage and friends in the back line were up to the task, allowing little to trouble Sequim goalkeeper Addie Smith after halftime.

Lestage headed away and cleared away a number of Orting attempts in the Sequim back third.

“Kaia Lestage stood out to me,” Johnson said. “Kaia was getting the ball out, distributing the ball well and getting a lot of headers. And Hannah Wagner. I think everybody played really well today.”

Garling agreed.

“Kaia was amazing,” he said. “She does such a great job commanding that back line. Her strength is just instinctive. She reacts so well to the ball.”

Johnson added the third and final goal in the 66th minute, scoring from a nearly impossible angle along the end line.

“The defender thought the keeper was going to get the ball, so I cut right in front of her and shot it and it bounced off the keeper’s gloves and in,” Johnson said.

Garling was impressed with his players’ ability to maximize their games in a crucial moment.

“We’ve said all year, ‘Ladies, play to our strengths,’” Garling said. “What are our strengths? We have Taryn with speed and finishing, Hannah with distribution, finishing, shooting and Kaia who is so solid defensively. We had a lot of things really go well tonight and I’m happy about it.”

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