Vashon soccer team advances to bi-district tournament

Will O’Neil, 20, beats the Port Townsend goalkeeper for Vashon’s first goal in Saturday’s Bi-District qualifier. - Rik Forschmiedt photo
Will O’Neil, 20, beats the Port Townsend goalkeeper for Vashon’s first goal in Saturday’s Bi-District qualifier.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt photo

The Pirate soccer team survived an 89th minute goal by Orting Wednesday and a near mugging by Port Townsend Saturday to advance to the Bi-District playoffs.

Orting’s overtime goal spoiled a Vashon comeback and dropped the Pirates to third place in the Nisqually League when the Cardinals got the 4-3 win. But the Pirates dominated an extremely physical Port Townsend team to win 4-1 and end the Redskins’ season.

Will O’Neil’s third hat trick in as many games led Vashon to come back from a 2-0 first half deficit and tie Wednesday’s Orting game 3-3 in regular time. But Cardinal Dylan Utley had his own hat trick, including the 89th-minute tally that won the game.

Orting’s Adrian Cruz opened the scoring in the 16th minute. Utley made it 2-0 in the 39th minute.

O’Neil hit in the 55th minute assisted by Dom Stemer. Utley struck again in the 63rd minute, but the rest of regular time was all Pirates. O’Neil scored in the 69th minute, assist to Nick Gass, and in the 78th minute with Elias Weston getting the assist.

While Vashon dominated most of the extra 10 minutes, it was Utley who got the counter.

The assigned referee for Saturday’s loser-out game, also played at Orting, was reportedly injured the day before, and a replacement apparently wasn’t assigned, so one of the assigned assistant referees took the middle by himself until another assistant ref arrived late in the first half. A Redskin defender, apparently assigned to keep O’Neil away from the ball any way he could, was allowed to push without any whistle, but O’Neil still got the first goal of the game in the ninth minute when the Port Townsend goalkeeper came way out to challenge as O’Neil took a feed from Weston. The Pirate ace lofted the ball over the keepers head, and there was no one left between the ball and the net.

Port Townsend’s score came on a penalty kick call that almost nobody but the referee saw. Sebastian Lyons converted for the Redskins.

O’Neil made it 2-1 in the 26th minute with Gass getting the assist.

Pirate keeper Robert McGinnis got a rare assist in the 37th minute when he cleared the ball half the length of the field and Weston picked it up and carried past the Port Townsend keeper for Vashon’s third goal.

Weston completed the scoring in the 60th minute with Stemer getting the assist.

Even after it was obvious Port Townsend could not win, the rough play continued, and the defender finally received a yellow card when he struck Michael Butz in the face.

Vashon’s first Bi-District game is today, Wednesday, against Meridian at Mount Vernon High School. The time had not been announced at the time this was written. The winner goes to State and plays Saturday at Orting for third and fourth seed, and loser is out.

The Pirate JV closed its season with a 3-0 shutout for goalkeeper Brooks Benner over the Orting JV. Sean O’Neil scored unassisted in the 13th minute. Alessandro Rossi scored in the 21st minute with an assist from Max Herrington, and George Silagi got an assist from Sam Crosby in the 62nd minute.

Vashon plays Meridian at 4:30 p.m. today, Wednesday, May 12, at Whatcom Community College in Bellingham.

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