Royal junior Joshua Chansee eyes down the ball as a Raider closes in on him. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Royal junior Joshua Chansee eyes down the ball as a Raider closes in on him. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Kent-Meridian boys soccer falls to Thomas Jefferson

Game that the Royals felt they dominated ended up not going their way.

The Kent-Meridian Royals boys soccer fell to the Thomas Jefferson Raiders 1-0 at Federal Way High School on April 12.

“I think we dominated in possession and had the opportunities. But at the end of the day, you gotta put the ball in the net,” said Head Coach Brian Gabert.

So far this season, the Royals just haven’t been able to get on the right track. Kent-Meridian looked to be on the right path after taking down Auburn in their previous game 4-1.

The game against Thomas Jefferson is one that got away from the Royals.

“The blame is on us. We gotta score goals and that’s all there is to it,” Gabert said.

Despite the Raiders grabbing early momentum in the first five minutes of play, the Royals took control for the majority first half.

Most of this game was played in the midfield, and occasionally the Royals threatened Thomas Jefferson’s back line, but there were never opportunities to take advantage of.

Going into halftime, the game was deadlocked 0-0, which Kent-Meridian left on the doorstep of Thomas Jefferson’s goal.

In the 69th minute after a Royal handball, the Raiders had their best opportunity of the whole game.

The shot hit off the post and was sent in by Thomas Jefferson, and the Royals’ dominant performance was all for naught.

During the last 11 minutes after conceding the goal, Kent-Meridian continued to apply pressure, but couldn’t crack the code.

“We just have to come back better next game,” said sophomore Irving Baca-Silva.

The Royals left Federal Way wondering how this game got away from them.

“We’re just gonna keep working,” Gabert said.

Baca-Silva echoed the same message as his coach: “We just have to work harder at practice,” he said.

Kent-Meridian now sits in third place in the standings, trailing Thomas Jefferson by 4 points. Despite being in third place, the Royals averaged more goals a game than the two teams in front of them. That helps Gabert trust in his team.

“I believe in my players, it’s going to keep coming,” Gabert said.

The coach told his team early on that it was going to be a hard season.

“I told them at the beginning of the year we’re gonna suffer. There are going to be games that we lost that you should win,” he said.

Going into the last four games of their season, they take on two winless teams, but have Auburn Mountainview (4-6-2) and first place Auburn Riverside (5-2-4) to end the regular season. Last season, the Royals rattled off five wins in a row, and this year they hope to do a similar feat to end the season.

“It comes down to the next four games. If we can get some momentum going into the playoffs, I think we’ll be okay,” said Coach Gabert.

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