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Kickers defeat Lakeside for first-ever Metro League championship
Alex Raquer scores the game winning goal
(A correction was made to credit the correct player with the assist.)
SEATTLE – After losing the Metro League Mountain Division title to the Lakeside Lions in the regular season, Alex Raquer made sure they would go home empty handed this time around.
The junior forward scored the lone goal of the game in the 60th minute as the Bainbridge Spartans beat Lakeside 1-0 in the Metro League championship game Friday at Interbay Stadium in Seattle.
The win marks the first time the Spartans have won the Metro League championship in their entire time in the league.
Head coach George Vukic called it the best game the Spartans have played in his time as head coach.
"It was a fantastic battle," he said. "It really was. It was fun, it was back and forth and I think without a doubt we deserved to be the winner. We had many chances and I think we overtook them and deserved to win."
Raquer's goal came off a Sebastian Scales header that found him in the Lakeside penalty box. Raquer made a great touch and immediately sent the shot past the head of Lakeside goalkeeper Daly Seaton for his 13th goal of the season.
Raquer said he was confident Bainbridge would score as minutes earlier Connor Winship had fed him inside the box but Raquer's header went just inches wide of the left post.
"We were getting good looks, so I figured one would come eventually," he said. "Once we started looking to the ground more and (passing) to the forward's feet, instead of playing it in the air, that's when our best chances would come."
Spartans goalkeeper Nic Miller and the defense did the rest as Miller earned his seventh clean sheet of the season. Despite good shots on goal by Louis Schott and Guy Thyer, Miller held firm.
"I could not be prouder of these guys," Vukic said. "What a thrilling day for these guys."
As the top seed out of District 2, Bainbridge will get to play at home for the first round of the 3A state tournament against the fifth seed from District 3, but a day, time and opponent have yet to be decided.
Though Bainbridge have not made it out of the first round since 1997 and have been shutout in its last six state games, Vukic is confident that they can do it this season.
"We'll take it a step at a time, but after (Tuesday's win over) Prep and (tonight's game against) Lakeside, which were wars, these guys are used to these battles," he said. "So we can beat anybody.
John Becerra Jr./Staff Photo
Peter Fawley (left) tries to head the ball to Alex Raquer during the first half of Bainbridge's 1-0 win over Lakeside in the Metro League championship game Friday night at Interbay Stadium in Seattle.