With 10 minutes left in regulation it appeared the Skyline Spartans boys soccer season was slowly slipping away.
Skyline, which trailed the Puyallup Vikings 1-0 late in the second half, needed a big play to gain momentum and keep their season alive in a loser-out Class 4A state playoff game.
The Spartans delivered.
With six minutes left in the game Skyline forward Nathan Steele unleashed a perfect pass on a corner-kick which midfielder Joe Camp converted into a goal, tying the game at 1-1.
With less than a minute left in regulation, McKinley Fodness scored the game-winning goal, propelling the Spartans to comeback 2-1 victory against the Vikings on May 17 at Skyline High School in Sammamish.
A frenzied sequence of events took place that many in attendance will never forget in the moments prior to Fodness scoring the game-winner. As a Skyline player made his way toward the goal, a Puyallup player was called for a foul. Skyline was awarded a direct free kick from about 20 yards out. During this time, Puyallup keeper Owen Ebner emerged from between the posts and appeared to be conversing with one of the officials in the field of play. During this time, Fodness unleashed a shot on the ground into the lower right side of the goal.
“I see everyone scrambling. The ref hadn’t called the whistle and the wall wasn’t backing up so I thought I would just take it and I just put it in the back of the net,” Fodness said.
Skyline head coach Don Braman was glad to see Fodness recognize the situation unfolding in front of him.
“One of the things we’ve been harping on all year is finding ways to be more intelligent on the field. Until you ask for 10 yards, the ball is in play or ready to be put into play. I think he [Fodness] saw the opportunity and their keeper [Owen Ebner] for whatever reason came all of the way out of the goal and he [Fodness] just rolled it in,” Braman said.
Fodness said his team wasn’t rattled despite trailing by a score with less than 10 minutes left in the game.
“Facing adversity and coming back is something we’ve done all year. We’ve got a lot of underclassman and guys who have came up from jayvee and have done really well. We’ve faced adversity all year so this was nothing,” Fodness explained.
Braman was particularly impressed with the goal that tied the game with six minutes left on the clock.
“We added that corner-kick to our repertoire this week and it was one we thought would pay off. We didn’t run it until the second half. We’re glad it worked out. Joe got a great goal off of it. It was a really tough goal. He is so crafty and we figured he would have the best look. Nathan Steele put that ball on a rope,” Braman said of the pass. “He had missed a bunch of services and he would be the first to tell you that but the one that mattered most he got.”