Late goal lifts Spartans to victory in KingCo 4A soccer title game

Skyline midfielder Cole Penz scores game-winning goal in the 72nd minute.

Skyline Spartans junior midfielder Cole Penz propelled his team to the Class 4A state tournament with one of the most clutch goals of his high school career.

Penz recorded the lone goal of the night in the 72nd minute of play, sealing the Spartans’ 1-0 victory against the Issaquah Eagles in the KingCo 4A soccer championship game on May 10 at Gary Moore Stadium in Issaquah. Issaquah dominated the majority of the second half of the game. The Eagles outshot the Spartans 10-3 in the final 40 minutes but couldn’t convert on their opportunities to score.

Skyline head coach Don Braman wasn’t surprised Penz came through in the clutch with a berth to the state tournament on the line.

“Cole Penz has a knack for finding the right place at the right time, and sure enough he squeezed a ball through and tucked it in,” Braman said.

Penz wasn’t worried despite Issaquah unleashing a sizable amount of shots on goal in the second half.

“When it comes down to it, all we had to do was score one goal to win and that is what we did,” Penz said. “We lost here in the last game of the regular season. To come back and shut the door on their KingCo (tournament title) hopes at their house felt so good.”

Penz’s game winning goal was a ground ball shot from the right side of the field that caromed off of the lower left post, before sailing into the back of the net.

“I saw their keeper cheated over a bit and I just tried to go far post on the ground. We played a great game. I love this team,” Penz said.

Issaquah will face the Mount Si Wildcats in a winner-to-state, loser-out KingCo 4A playoff game at 7 p.m. on May 12.

“We’ll reflect on this game, use it as some good motivation going forward to not let that pain (loss) happen again,” Tatro said. “Kudos to Skyline, they played a really good game and performed well.”

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