Sports

Hazen soccer ends season on high note

With a playoff berth already clinched and third place in the league secure, no one would have been surprised if Hazen Soccer held a little back Thursday night against Tyee. Add to that a 70-minute downpour that only let up right before the game ended and it could have been a recipe for disaster.

But the Highlanders had three things on their checklist heading into the game and put it together for a 2-1 victory in their final game of the season.

First, it was Senior Night.

“No one wants to send their seniors out on a losing note. This is another close group of guys,” said Hazen Coach Ken Matthews in a press release.

Hazen seniors Ryan Wong, Luis Puga, Isaiah Blount, Justice Arhu, Kyle Bunnell, and Gino Malgarini were honored before the match.

Second, there was a little matter of undisputed third place. Had Tyee beaten Hazen they would have been even on points in the third spot.

“We missed our chances to get 1st in league, but I challenged the guys to hold that spot all for ourselves,” Matthews said.

Lastly, Matthews asked the team to use this game as a tune up for the playoff match up against Peninsula next Tuesday.

“Tyee is a good team. They were the perfect opponent for us going into the playoff grind,” Matthews ended.

Puga and Reyes Garcia had goals for the Highlanders and Cooper Cerna and Wong had the assists. Tyee scored late, but had no further threats as the Highlanders got the 2-1 win.

Hazen now begins to prepare for the subdistrict tournament, scheduled to begin May 13. The Highlanders will open against Peninsula at 5:30 p.m. at Franklin Pierce Stadium. The winner will advance to districts.

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