Vashon soccer players end a season to be proud of

The Pirates fought hard, but ultimately lost 4-0 to Cascade High School, which ended their season and their run to State.

After defeating Life Christian on Saturday, May 14, the Pirates continued on to compete in the WIAA State tournament.

In the spring of 2019, the Pirates won it all and were crowned State champions. Due to the pandemic, they have now reigned as champions for nearly three years. This year, they fought to defend their title

On Wednesday, May 18, the Pirates played their first State tournament match against Manson High School, at home in front of a packed stadium.

The game kicked off, and for the first ten minutes, neither team scored. Senior co-captain Levi Stahl had a header that hit the crossbar, barely missing the goal, but minutes later, he got a second chance when junior Evan Serebryakov took a corner kick.

Stahl was there to head the ball, and this time it found the back of the net. Vashon scored their first State goal in three years, and Stahl, his first ever.

“After I missed that first one, I felt I had to put one away. I was so excited to score my first state goal,” Stahl said.

Stahl’s goal got the Pirates attack rolling, and junior Moses Trundle-Strachan scored just ten minutes later, with an unassisted left foot shot, bringing the score up to 2-0. Senior co-captain Bellamy Cox-Sitkiewicz scored one final goal for Vashon, assisted by junior Nick Zuckerman, before the half ended.

The energy began to die as Vashon’s lead widened, and the score remained the same in the second half. Vashon walked away with a 3-0 win.

“They played bad, we played bad, luckily we played not as bad,” Trundle-Strachan said.

However in the state tournament, a win is a win, and the Pirates moved on to play again on Friday, May 20. The team traveled to Wenatchee to play the fourth-seed team, Cascade High School (Leavenworth).

The Pirates fought hard, but ultimately lost 4-0, which ended their season and their run to State.

“They were a strong team, and we played our best, but it still wasn’t enough. I guess some things aren’t meant to be,” Stahl said.

Despite the loss, coach Scott Nicolino says he is overwhelmed with pride.

“It’s always tough when a season comes to an end,” Nicolino said. “But, I’m so proud of this team for persevering through so many injuries this year and still doing what they do best: playing soccer at an extremely high level. Winning the Nisqually League championship and advancing to the second round of the state tournament is definitely something to be proud of.”

Senior co-captain keeper Evan Keppler echoed that sentiment.

“I had some of the most fun playing soccer this season, and I couldn’t be more proud of these guys,” Keppler said.