DUVALL — The Red Wolves were looking to rebound from a loss to Liberty in the District Championship match Nov. 9, but just couldn’t get the ball to roll in their favor, and dropped a 1-nil match to Hockinson in first-round State action at home last Friday.
The loss bounced Cedarcrest out of the playoffs and ended a successful 2019 season.
“We strategized with pressing their backline and felt that if we were able to force errors in their passing game, high up their third of the field, we could be in advantageous positions to quickly counter and finish opportunities,” coach Alex Hickox said. “Hockinson is a quality passing — possessing styled team and it showed. We didn’t do quite enough to possess the ball ourselves and when you chase the game, you just end up getting tired.”
The first half possession seemed fairly equal with neither team really able to penetrate the other’s defense. Hockinson did mount a scoring threat moments before intermission but a shot on frame was just wide of the left post as time expired.
Coach Hickox encouraged the team at the break to take advantage of every opportunity they could muster to test the Hockinson keeper.
“You only need the width of the ball, so let it go,” he said.
The Red Wolves had an excellent chance to put the first goal on the board to start second half play, as the ball appeared headed into the Hockinson net. But the Hawk goalie was somehow able to stretch out and corral the ball.
“I thought we might have had that dribbler — but their keeper was quick enough to get the ball before it rolled over the goal line,” Hickox said.
Hockinson owned the majority of possession in the second half, but it wasn’t until the 16:34 mark that the visitors recorded the lone score of the contest that caromed off the right post.
“The goal they scored is a 1 percenter — meaning, if that same shot happened 100 times, it only goes in once,” Hickox said. “It was unfortunate it happened but the game, the ball and the timing can be cruel at times.”
The Red Wolves had a chance to level it late, but a shot by sophomore Madelyn “Mad Dog” Davidson sailed over the crossbar.
“I’ll say this, the girls clearly did not give up and fought hard to the end,” Hickox said. "It was a nail-biter and we hope our fans were treated to an exciting game, despite the outcome.”
The team may be out of the running for championship hardware, but they will still be honored during intermission of the 2A Championship match.
“The girls are back-to-back Academic State Champions. Talk about a massive accomplishment especially since we graduated 10 seniors from last year’s varsity team,” Hickox said. “We pick up our State Championship plaque during half-time.
“Overall, I couldn’t be happier for these girls – they are a true testament of being a student-athlete — winning State and being beasts in the classroom and working their way into playing in the State tournament and being in the top 16 of the State, on the field.”