Ridgefield falls to Royal in third-place match




SUMNER — Ridgefield senior Taylor Konkright started the week in the state golf tournament, squeezed in his senior board on Thursday, and finished the week with the final four of the 1A state soccer tournament.

When Saturday’s match ended, he confessed he was looking forward to getting some sleep. His soccer teammates looked like they were ready to join him.

The Spudders, quite simply, looked drained in Saturday’s third-place game, falling to Royal 3-0. The sting of the penalty-kick loss from the day before still seemed to be lingering, and energy seemed just as elusive as a quality shot on goal.

“We just weren’t ourselves today,” Ridgefield coach Jason Staley said. “I think being emotionally spent yesterday was probably the biggest thing.”

After allowing a match-tying goal in the final 10 minutes Friday, Ridgefield (17-2) fell to Overlake 4-3 in penalty kicks after both teams failed to break a 1-1 tie in overtime. The Spudders’ sole goal in the match came with 14 minutes remaining in the first half, meaning after Saturday, they had gone 104 minutes without a goal.

Royal didn’t have the same problem.

Cesar Bernal scored on a header midway through the first half to put the Knights up 1-0. That would remain the score until the nine-minute mark in the second half, when Christian Guerrero launched a 25-yard kick into the upper-right corner of the net. One minute later, Brian Gallaro added a goal to make it 3-0.

Toward the match’s end, things started getting a bit chippy on the pitch, but Konkright insists it was nothing personal.

“I think we were just all exhausted at that point.”

Ridgefield hadn’t lost a match all year before Friday, and almost sneaked into the championship game. A WIAA official told the team after the game “fourth out of 66 teams — you guys have a lot to be proud of.”

Staley didn’t disagree.

“We would have liked a better showing up here, but it was a good season,” he said. “It was fun.”