by Jefferson Freeman
Orcas Island High School student
The Vikings soccer team had the chance to go back to both fields on which they were defeated during their championship campaign.
The Oct. 11 game against the Friday Harbor Wolverines would be one of the highest stakes games of the year, as #2 Orcas visited #3 Friday Harbor, with league, district and state implications all riding on this game. It took only 15 minutes to break the deadlock as the Wolverines kept the momentum and scored to take a 1-0 lead. But just 5 minutes later the Vikings got it back, as the ball ricocheted off the post to a waiting Ethan Moss who put his team right back in the game. Barely a minute after that a miscue in the back for Orcas led to a turnover in their own 6-yard box.
With just about seven minutes left until halftime, the Vikings were in desperate need of a goal. Sam Sutton swung it in and what should have been a clearance from the Friday Harbor defense ended up popping up into the air and found its way to Diego Lago who equalized the game.
The most important moment of the game would come in the 50th minute, with Guillermo Sagarra-Iglesias winning an all-important penalty, putting the potential fate of this game up to two people, the Wolverine keeper and Tommy Anderson-Cleveland, who would be the victor. He smashed home the penalty to give the Vikings their first lead of the game, a lead they were able to hold onto and get their first win at Linde Field since 2019.
Friday, Oct. 14 would see the Vikings heading down to Providence, who had won their previous matchup on that ground. That win had propelled the Highlanders to league champs but the Vikings had taken both district and state trophies in hard-fought penalty shootouts. However, this year was much different. Providence had lost most of its production while Orcas returned most of its key pieces. The scoreline would show that as the Vikings cruised through 5-0, with goals from Joaquin Shanks-Morales, Kevin Ibarra-Garcia, Sagarra-Iglesias and Nick Rivera.
As the postseason looms near, the Vikings sit in the top spot for their league and will face the La Conner Braves on Tuesday. On Thursday, they get a rematch from last year’s playoffs with Puget Sound Adventist, who the Vikings beat 5-0 in their last match-up.