Skyline Spartans boys soccer head coach Don Braman consoled a plethora of his players on the field in the immediate moments following their 1-0 loss to the Pasco Bulldogs in the Class 4A state championship game.
Skyline’s epic playoff run came to an abrupt halt after Pasco senior Ivan Ceja scored the game-winning goal in overtime (83rd minute), propelling Pasco to a state title on May 26 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Despite the emotions of a season ending defeat, Skyline goalie Lucas Richardson reflected upon the journey his team put together during the 2018 season. The Spartans won three consecutive state tournament playoff games against Auburn Riverside (first round), Puyallup (quarterfinals) and Sumner (semifinals) to reach the state title game. Skyline won each contest by the score of 1-0.
“It was definitely hard fought games. Everyone had to put everything into it and we got the job done. It helped us support each other even more,” Richardson said. “The amount of love on this team is immeasurable. Everyone had each others backs and everyone fought for each other. There is no other group like it.”
Just before Ceja’s game-winning score, Skyline had an incredible shot on goal in the 82nd minute that caromed off the crossbar just mere inches from finding the back of the net. Braman was proud of his team’s showing in the championship contest.
“This is probably the best defensive team we’ve ever had. They got the most wins in Skyline history and we did everything but get a goal tonight. It is really unfortunate,” Braman said. “We hit the crossbar 30 seconds before we conceded the game winner. I’m so proud of the effort but this one (loss) is going to sting.”