The Trojan men's soccer season came to an end last night after a 3-1 defeat to the #2 overall ranked and West Region Co-Champions, Tacoma Titans in the opening round of the NWAC Playoffs.
The Titans came into the match with one of the top defenses in the league allowing just 13 goals all season, and recording a league best 11 shutouts in 19 games played. They also have the the leagues leading goal scorer in Bubacar Touray. But Everett had plenty of confidence in their own abilities as the NWAC's 4th best offensive team, averaging 2.33 goals scored per game.
Both teams excelled defensively in the first half. Tacoma controlled the majority of possession in the first ten minutes. Everett threatened in the 13th minute off of a free kick that was sent into the box, but headed over the cross bar by freshman Cade Cooke. The Trojan's best opportunity came in the 38th minute off of a corner kick that was not cleared immediately by the Tacoma defense. Sophomore transfer Cole Baker found the ball on his foot and sent in a shot that was deflected and went just left of the goal post went he keeper got a hand on it. The half ended 0-0 with Everett getting off only 3 shots (1 on target) to Tacoma's 4 (1 on target).
The second half started with an early opportunity for the Trojans to get on the board. Cade Cooke took a throw in that sailed into the box, and skipped past several defenders but it was just out of reach for a sliding attempt by Dullo Jallow. Everett would continue to generate pressure earning two corner kick opportunities, and in the 61st minute Jose Trivino got off a header that was just collected near the top cross bar by the Tacoma goalkeeper.
The game would finally see it's first goal just moments later in the 66th minute when Dullo Jallow broke past a Tacoma defender and got off a shot to the far post past a diving keeper to give the Trojans the 1-0 advantage.
With their backs against the wall the #2 ranked team in the NWAC, never flinched and drew the game back even with a goal of their own less than seven minutes later on a crossed ball that found the foot of an un-marked striker. Then in the 79th minute the Titans took advantage of a questionable foul called just outside of the box when Mamadi Sarr collided with a Tacoma forward in an attempt to head the ball clear. The free kick was taken from the 18 straight away, and it found it's way past the Trojan wall and into the back of the net.
Everett would have a couple more opportunities to tie the game, but Tacoma all but sealed the game in the 85th minute with another crossed ball that found an open foot on the back side of the defense, and the game and season would end with a 3-1 defeat.
The 2018 Trojans men's soccer team has much to be proud of from this year's campaign, qualifying for the playoffs for the 2nd straight year under 3rd year head coach Erik Cruz. The 12 wins accumulated this year is the most in program history, along with 49 total goals scored being tied for the most in program history. Sophomore Aaron (Gregor) Byrne also set the all time career record at EvCC for most goals scored at 26 and the most points accumulated for a career at 57.
The team should returen a very strong freshman class for next season, and looks to once again contend for the top spot in the North Region.