LAKEWOOD – Daghan Kesim’s voice echoed through the hallway of Harry Lang Stadium’s visitor’s locker room as the Cascade boys soccer coach tried to comfort his players.
“You guys are state champions to me,” he said. “I’m proud of you boys.”
The Bruins will not, however, be state champions when the trophy is handed out tonight thanks to a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Federal Way in the Class 4A state semifinals Friday.
Instead of playing in its first state title game since winning a championship in 1995, Cascade (16-4-1) plays Inglemoor for third and fourth places at 3 p.m. today.
After the final whistle put an end to Cascade’s worst loss of the season, Kesim was unhappy with the efforts of both his team and the officials, who handed out five yellow cards and one red card to Cascade players in the second half.
“I don’t think I should talk, I have nothing good to say about the referees,” said Kesim, who also conceded that the Bruins didn’t help themselves. “We didn’t start the first half very well. We didn’t play our game.”
The Eagles (16-1-4) took advantage of Cascade’s slow start, jumping ahead 2-0 in the first half on a pair of goals by junior forward Christian Munoz.
Munoz started the scoring in the 20th minute with a shot off the hands of a diving Derek Weigelt into the lower right corner of the net. He struck again nine minutes later, scoring on a rebound after Weigelt made a diving save of a John Mono bicycle kick.
“It was just like no one came ready to play,” said Cascade junior midfielder Jon DeOliveira. “I think we were just out of it or something today. The other team was just more ready to win. They wanted it.”
Murphy Campbell scored early in the second half to make it 3-0, and Munoz scored again in the 54th minute for the hat trick.
Coming into the game, Cascade had allowed only two goals and was 14-0-1 since a 1-0 loss to Lake Stevens on March 24.
The Eagles advanced to the championship game, in part, by beating the Bruins at their own game.
“We just went at them and went hard,” said Federal Way coach Jason Baumgardt. “We knew hearing through the grape vine that they’re a team that plays hard, so our goal was to play harder and try to really go at them and finish our opportunities. We definitely did that today.”
Despite the loss, the Bruins can take comfort in getting to a place few expected them to ever reach. Prior to the season, Cascade was picked to finish fifth in the Wesco North Division by coaches.
In a league with defending state champion Snohomish and 2006 semifinalist Lake Stevens, Cascade surprised many by being the last Wesco team standing.
“Looking back at the season, we have many highlights,” said senior defender Vlad Voin. “It’s been a great season for us. Right now it’s a little hard to appreciate because of the loss, but I’m sure when we look back on the season we’ll be pretty happy about what we did.”
Before Cascade can appreciate the season, they’ll try to end it with a win today.
“We fought, we had a good season,” said sophomore midfielder Reid Jones. “It’s unfortunate to lose this one, but we’ll try to come out and redeem ourselves (today) and hopefully get third.”
At Harry Lang Stadium
Goals-Federal Way: Munoz 3, Campbell. Assists-Federal Way: Mono, Rowe. Goalkeepers-Federal Way: Lane. Cascade: Weigelt.