Sehome powers past Aberdeen, advances to state semifinals

Mariners’ defensive pressure fuels 5-0 quarterfinal win over Bobcats
May 20, 2023 at 6:36 p.m.
Updated May 23, 2023 at 1:41 p.m.
Sehome players celebrate Gilberto Andrews’ goal in the first half May 20 during the Mariners' 5-0 win over Aberdeen in the 2A state quarterfinals in Bellingham.
Sehome players celebrate Gilberto Andrews’ goal in the first half May 20 during the Mariners' 5-0 win over Aberdeen in the 2A state quarterfinals in Bellingham. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)

Staff Reporter

Sehome boys soccer's offense erupted, its defense held strong and the Mariners vaulted past Aberdeen 5-0 in the 2A state quarterfinals at Civic Stadium May 20. 

The No. 4-seeded Mariners, who advanced through the postseason by defeating Burlington-Edison, Squalicum, Bellingham, and West Valley (Spokane), denied No. 5-seeded Aberdeen any opportunity to score. 

The Mariners started the first half confident and aggressive, applying defensive pressure against their opponent as they sought to control the pace of the game early. 

photo  Sehome goalkeeper Kinoah Mitchell grabs a free kick shot at the goal. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Sehome’s first goal attempt, two minutes in by sophomore Julian Herring, narrowly missed over the top of the crossbar. 

A header by senior Gilberto Andrews put the Mariners up 1-0 at the 31:53 mark. 

Sehome kept the pressure coming as Andrews’ goal was followed by another attempt two minutes later by junior Sam Bell that, even though it missed, upped the tempo and confidence for the Mariners as the half played out. 

As Aberdeen players tried to match Sehome’s pressure midway through the first period, the pace began to pick up. 

Sehome survived Aberdeen's attempts to tie the score with goalie Kinoah Mitchell stopping every ball Aberdeen sent his way, ruining any momentum the Bobcats tried to create.  

photo  Sehome's Noah Allen heads the ball in for a Mariner goal in the second half. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

The game continued to fall Sehome’s way as the Mariners’ racked up another goal, this time by junior Reiley Buri-Brown on an accidental header assist by an Aberdeen player, knocking the ball just out of reach of the goalie and giving Sehome a 2-0 advantage at the half. 

Sehome junior Noah Allen, coming off his first career hat trick on May 10 against West Valley (Spokane), extended the lead to 3-0 within the opening minutes of the second half. 

A subsequent assist from junior Asher Sullivan on a header to senior Gracen Connell at the 17:48 mark made it 4-0 and dimmed any hopes for a comeback from the Bobcats.  

photo  Sehome's Gracen Connell, right, leaps and gets a handshake from teammate Asher Sullivan after his goal in the second half. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

Buri-Brown later scored his second goal of the day, sealing the 5-0 win for the Mariners. 

Sehome coach Jose Flores said he was proud of the way his entire team contributed to today's win. 

“We just have a different mentality now,” Flores said. “Those tough losses and having adversity at the start of the season really prepared us for this moment.”  

Flores also had nothing but high praise for the Bobcats and their coaching staff. 

photo  Sehome's Barrett Cerenzia gives a teammate a thumbs up after an errant out-of-bounds kick knocks down a game tracker camera. (Andy Bronson/Cascadia Daily News)  

“Aberdeen is a great team, they traveled three-plus hours to get here and never slowed down, so I told our guys neither can we,” Flores said.

The Mariners are seeking their fourth state championship in program history, having last won the title in 2019. 

Sehome now faces top-seeded Columbia River in the state semifinals at 7 p.m. Friday, May 26, at Renton Memorial Stadium. 

“We’re excited,” Flores said. “We told the guys games are going to get harder and harder, but they’re playing knowing it’s win or go home right now, and they have embraced the challenge and are ready.”

A previous version of this story misspelled Sehome junior Reiley Buri-Brown's name. The story was updated to reflect this change at 1:41 p.m. May 23, 2023. Cascadia Daily News regrets the error.

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