Mariner blanked by Puyallup | Boys soccer
Last updated 5/22/2019 at Noon
Mariner’s postseason run was cut short.
Puyallup defeated the Marauders 4-0 in a first-round 4A state boys soccer tournament game Wednesday, May 15, at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
The Vikings took a 1-0 lead into halftime and then scored early in the second half. The lead was too much for a tired Mariner squad to overcome.
“Our boys were showing signs of wear and tear,” Marauders coach Henry Busch said. “It was too hard for them to battle back from. We had a couple of opportunities to tie the game up and we just couldn’t capitalize on them. We couldn’t get it to go in the back of the net.”
The state appearance was the first for the Marauders (12-8-1) since 2016.
“We didn’t play quite as well as we would have liked,” Busch said. “I think the boys are still happy with the way the season went and making it to the state tournament was one of the goals we had all season. They achieved that.”
Mariner ended up finishing second in the Wesco 4A, defeating district rival Kamiak in a league tiebreaker game in a shootout. After losing to Mount Si and Issaquah in the district tournament, the Marauders rebounded to edge Eastlake to earn a state berth in yet another shootout.
Busch, an assistant coach until he was promoted to head coach this season, said that the loss of five players during the season due to various issues created some challenges for Mariner.
“We ended the season without some of the guys,” he said. “I was very proud of the group that we ended up with. We finished really strong and that allowed us to get second place. That really helped us in the state tournament.”
The Marauders earned a first-round district bye because they were the No. 2 seed. Kamiak, the No. 3 seed, was eliminated by Inglemoor in a first-round district contest.
In the end, Mariner’s missing players meant that the starters had to log significant minutes, not just in the playoffs but also during the regular season.
“We just didn’t have the number of guys to be successful against the really strong teams,” Busch said. “Guys were playing a lot. They were worn down by playing those tough teams. We still were able to win some big games, such as against Eastlake.
“At the end of the day, most of the boys were happy. None of them had ever made it to state. It still was a successful season. “
The Marauders will undergo a major turnover with about seven of 11 starters graduating. But Busch is confident that Mariner has the talent to replace those starters.
“We’ll be a pretty young team next year,” he said. “We can be a strong team. The younger players need to step up and fill those roles. I’m excited for next year.”
Junior goalkeeper Ebou Barrow will be back to anchor the defense.
“He’s definitely going to be one of the leaders on the team,” Busch said. “Knowing he’s going to be back is a huge confidence boost.”
Mariner should have some options on offense with the return of freshmen Alexis Villasenor-Roman and sophomore Pedro Martinez. The defense will be bolstered by freshman Eduardo Rocha and sophomore Gustavo Galvan-Vazquez.
“Those guys are going to be very important,” Busch said. “It’s nice that they got to experience the state tournament. They know how everything goes coming back next year.”