By MARK SCHEER
For The Beachcomber
The mighty Vashon Raptors Boys Under-11 (BU11) team finished their season on Saturday, Dec. 13, in the championship game for the entire Tacoma/Pierce County Junior Soccer Association BU11 division.
The Raptors played the undefeated Gig Harbor Rovers for the championship, and though they played very well, they lost 1-0.
The Raptors definitely had their chances. They hit the goal post on a well-taken shot at the 24-minute mark, but the score was still tied at 0-0 at halftime.
In the second half, the Rovers finally notched one against the Raptors. Goalie Gerardo Pereyda made an excellent blocking save on the initial shot, but the rebound came out in front of the goal, where a Rover forward managed to play it into the net.
This is the first year a Vashon team has finished high enough in the year-end standings to go to the post-season tournament — much less made it to the championship.
The Raptors enjoyed some spectacular offense during the season, with regular goal contributors Anthony Gateman, Gabe Reoux and Nolan Adberg, but the reason they were able to advance so far in their division and the tournament was the excellent play of the entire defensive unit.
The Raptors had one of the best defensive squads in the BU11 league, anchored by defenders Forrest Miller, Charlie McBride and Zach Adler-Raff. The star of the defense, however, was goalie Pereyda — nothing short of spectacular in goal.
At the recently held end-of-season banquet, team members recalled Pereyda’s many saves during the season, including a “time-bending” one-armed save in the semi-final game that helped the Raptors advance to the championship.
The Raptors are coached by Mark Scheer and Greg Martin and managed by March Twisdale.