Blaming a loss on the referees is typically a poor excuse, especially if you lose by more than one goal.
However, Kingston found itself on the wrong end of multiple plays in their first-round post-season loss to Steilacoom 3-0 May 9.
Within the first few minutes of the game, Anthony Haroz had a breakaway opportunity before being tripped in the box. However, no call was awarded. Soon after, Kingston earned a penalty kick. Yet, Haroz’s shot was saved in the 32nd minute.
Kingston had a few opportunities after dominating possession through most of the first half. However, things changed suddenly when Alvaro Anglas-Camerana was injured. Anglas-Camerana was taken out in the knee and carted off the field with a free kick awarded.
Since Anglas-Camerana was the Bucs’ lone forward on a team that suited 14 players, coach Craig Smith struggled to find a replacement. Therefore, Steilacoom took the momentum away and scored with three minutes remaining in the first half.
In the second half, Steilacoom added an insurance goal from a rebound off a corner kick. Since the Kingston Bucs were not getting the same amount of calls, they began to retaliate, earning four yellow cards within a matter minutes.
Kingston’s struggles continued when Telmo Buxens-Astorqui was injured while being tripped. Yet, play resumed and was finally stopped when Buxens-Astorqui remained on the ground, and Edwin Vallecillo went down with cramps.
The Bucs desperately tried to remain alive with the handful of players left healthy. However, they were unable to capitalize on their handful of chances in the second half. Instead, Steilacoom added a final goal in the final minute to take the victory.
“The boys played hard, and it was a great season,” Smith said. “We did a lot better than people thought we were going to do. A lot of kids grew, especially the young kids. The older kids left a legacy.”