Hazen, Liberty soccer teams fall to state champs

June 4, 2015

By Christina Corrales-Toy

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The Hazen High School boys soccer team certainly earned its berth into the 3A state tournament, but a tough first round matchup sent the Highlanders home earlier than they expected.

The Highlanders endured three loser-out games in just five days to qualify for the 3A state playoffs, defeating Prairie, Capital and Shelton in the District 3/4 tournament.

“There is a lot of pressure playing one loser out game,” Hazen head coach Ken Matthews said in a news release. “Imagine what the guys have been going through playing three in five days. It wasn’t easy but they got to ‘The Dance.’”

Hazen drew a first-round matchup against Interlake, a team they lost to 5-0 in a nonleague game at the very beginning of the season.

Matthews predicted the Highlanders would give the Saints a much better game in the May 19 rematch, and he was certainly right.

“Hazen was sharp all over the field,” Matthews said. “Defensively they were outstanding, holding the KingCo goal scoring leader, Jason Rodriguez, off the sheet.”

Still, Interlake, who went on to win the 3A state soccer title, defeated Hazen, 1-0, that night.

“Sometimes in sports you hear the best team didn’t win,” Matthews said. “I don’t know about that, but I will say a very good soccer team didn’t win tonight.”

Liberty

The Liberty boys soccer team made it to the state’s 2A quarterfinals before losing to eventual state champion Archbishop Murphy.

After an opening-round win in the District 2/3 2A tournament, the Patriots immediately guaranteed themselves a spot in the district title game and a state berth.

The team was a bit short-handed for its May 16 district championship game.

That’s because a handful of players traded their kits for tuxes, as the school celebrated its senior prom that night.

“We were missing like five guys,” Liberty coach Darren Tremblay said. “So, we thought, ‘Oh boy, it could be a long night.’”

It was a long night, but not for the Patriots. Liberty defeated Tyee, 3-0, to win the Class 2A District 2/3 title and secure a No. 1 seed into the state playoffs.

They then defeated Anacortes May 19 in a match that came down to penalty kicks, before losing to Archbishop Murphy.

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