by Jefferson Freeman
Orcas High School student
The class of 2022 has played its final game on Orcas Island.
The Coupeville Wolves came to town for the Orcas senior game on Oct. 26. The seniors celebrated were William Ibarra, Toby Smith and Cadence Kraayeveld.
The Vikings got on the board early with a well-placed ball by Tommy Anderson-Cleveland giving the Coupeville keeper no chance. Soon after the Vikings made it 2-0 with great team passing leading to a great cross by Ethan Moss that was smashed in by Kraayeveld. Just over halfway through the second half, another senior got on the stat sheet as William Ibarra played a perfect corner to Diego Lago who headed it for the 3-0 lead.
Coupeville wasn’t quite out of it and was able to find a goal from a corner kick that bounced around in front of the Viking goal. The match sat at 3-1 in favor of the Vikings heading into the half. During halftime, they took the time to celebrate the accomplishments of these seniors, including being undefeated at home, multiple league championships and a second-place finish at state. Family members of all three seniors were presented with flowers and applause.
The score sheet was empty for most of the second half before Anderson-Cleveland hit a bullet in the back of the net after an assist from Pedro Guerro to extend the Viking lead to 4-1. Soon after that Anderson-Cleveland earned a penalty for the Vikings and Toby Smith stepped up to take the shot. The senior defender smashed the ball into the net for a 5-1 lead. That score would end up being the final as Orcas improved to 12-2 on the season.
After the victory over Coupeville, only one game remained in the regular season for the Vikings: an away match against the La Conner Braves. Rain poured from the sky every minute up to and throughout the game. Field conditions were awful at best and dysfunctional at worst. The game that took place was a battle of grit and a sprinkle of luck. Thanks to the field conditions neither team was able to find the back of the net for a while until a La Conner free-kick struck the keeper by the post to give the Braves a lead.
A surprising result at halftime found the Vikings trailing in their final match of the season. Neither team was going to give in without a fight, which resulted in a hard-fought physical second half with neither team being able to find anything on the attack. Just as things were starting to look concerning for the Vikings a tactical change paid off as a scramble in front of the net ended up with Remy Lago evening the game at one goal apiece.
From that point on Orcas was on a charge. Still, attack after attack was stopped by the mud and the La Conner defenders. Eventually, though, Orcas got what they needed as Anderson-Cleveland earned a penalty kick to give the Vikings a chance to take the lead. Stepping up to take the penalty shot was Diego Lago and he delivered a goal. La Conner’s keeper had no chance at the ball and it gave the Vikings a 2-1 advantage. The game wasn’t over but the Orcas defense made sure that the scoring was, La Conner shifted its focus to try to even the game they had once led but were turned away on chance after chance by the Vikings.
The final score was 2-1 as the Vikings took care of business on the road to close out their season with a 13-2 record. The next stop is the district playoffs, which begin with a trip to Crosspoint on Monday, Nov. 1.