The North Sound SeaWolves' late-season malaise continued with a 1-0 loss to the Victoria Highlanders Sunday at the Royal Athletic Park in British Columbia.
The loss was the fifth in a row for the Edmonds-based soccer team, which dropped to 4-11 in the Premier Development League. Victoria improved to 5-6-4.
"It's a tough time in the season," SeaWolves coach Alex Silva said. "We're out of the playoffs, we're at the end of the year. We're trying to put a group out there that can gain some experience and will play hard."
A pair of halftime substitutions were key for Victoria, as Ashley Burbeary found Jordy Hughes, who beat keeper Andrew Wildfong in the 60th minute for the game's only goal. Wildfong, who spent most of the season at North Sound's fourth-string keeper, made 11 saves as Victoria out-shot the SeaWolves 21-6.
The Highlanders also took 11 corner kicks to just three by North Sound. The SeaWolves are finishing the season with primarily a younger, more inexperienced group of players than they played with for most of the year in an effort to get players experience and exposure to a high level of soccer.
"Even though we are losing, it's been valuable to take a look at these young guys and see if they can help us in the future," Silva said. "And for these guys, they're getting a chance to see what it takes to compete at this level. So that's been good to see."
The SeaWolves wrap up the season with a 7:30 p.m. match Wednesday at Franklin Pierce Stadium in Tacoma against the Seattle Sounders U-23 team.