The Whidbey Islanders GU18 soccer team battled through a tough draw in the Rainier Valley Slammers Classic Tournament June 28-30 at the Starfire Complex in Tukwila.
Playing in the GU19 division, the Islanders finished with a draw and two losses.
The two clubs the Islanders lost to went on to play for the tournament title with Highline Premier FC thumping the Rainier Valley Slammers 7-1.
The Islanders opened the tournament with a 0-0 draw with the Timber Barons of the Portland Metro League.
Islander coach Sean LeVine said, "This was a very even match, but we were unable to have many chances on goal."
Playing in 90-degree heat, the Islanders dropped their next two matches, losing 2-1 to Rainier Valley and 3-1 to Highline Premier.
In the loss to the Slammers, the Islanders "seemed outmatched" in the first half, LeVine said, when Rainier Valley "capitalized on a couple of our mistakes and scored two goals."
In the second half "our players realized they could compete with this team," he said, and got a goal back when Makenzie Perry scored.
The Islanders had several other chances, according to LeVine, to pull off the tie but couldn't punch in the equalizer.
LeVine was "pleasantly surprised at how well" his team played against Highline Premier FC, this year's Challenge Cup Champions.
Jennifer Spark scored off a free kick from about 30 yards out, just putting the ball past the reach of the keeper.
One Highline goal came on a penalty kick when an Islander took a Highline player down in the box. The play also earned a red card and the Islanders had to finish the match with 10 players.
LeVine said, "Despite that, we were able to get a second goal, but it was called back as Emily Miesle was a hair offsides."
"Overall, I am very satisfied with their performance this weekend and it was a great experience for them," LeVine said. "We are a better team for it and the trip served its purpose."