More often than not, victory goes to the aggressor.
That wasn’t the case for the Skyline soccer team Saturday night, as the Spartans’ season ended on the Plateau with a crushing 1-0 loss to Bainbridge.
“I couldn’t ask for more work out of the boys. They worked all night long,” Skyline head coach Don Braman said. “We had a lot of close-in shots and just couldn’t get it in. Sometimes it’s a cruel game.”
Skyline out-shot Bainbridge 22-6 and kept the ball at the opponent’s end of the field the majority of the contest.
Like the blink of an eye, however, Skyline’s season came to an end.
In the 69th minute, Bainbridge Island’s Sam Freedman took a cross from the left side of the field. The ball took a couple of awkward bounces past the Spartan defensive line, and Freedman booted it in the bottom right corner for a score.
Skyline’s best opportunity to snag its first state playoff berth since 2004 came in the 19th minute. Senior David Bretl took a penalty kick from 25 yards out. His blast ricocheted off of Bainbridge goalkeeper Logan Connor to the foot of junior Josh Twaddle, who tapped in the rebound for an apparent score. After celebrating, Skyline players turned to see the referee waving off the goal due to an offsides penalty — the only offsides of the contest.
“There were no defenders, so our guy must have been a little bit ahead,” Braman said. “It was the right call, it was just bad luck.”
Skyline kept its pressure up, out-shooting Bainbridge 12-3 in the first half and 9-3 in the second half.
“We did a good job to create chances, it just didn’t go in,” Braman said.
Skyline earned two key wins to get to Saturday’s winner-to-state game. The No. 4-seeded Spartans defeated No. 3 Newport 1-0 on May 6 and beat No. 2 Sammamish 3-0 on May 8.
“I’m really proud of the guys for competing so well through the KingCo tournament and playing two really great games,” Braman said. “It’s too bad we couldn’t continue the run. I thought they played well enough and they deserved to win, but sometimes the numbers go against you.”
Skyline ended its season with an 11-5-3 record. Bainbridge earned a state game at Capital on Tuesday. Mercer Island, the regular-season KingCo 3A champ, is the only KingCo team in the 3A state playoffs. The Islanders earned an automatic state bid and faced Hudson’s Bay in the opening round.
Eastlake knocks off Pasco
It may be the tough road, but the Eastlake soccer team has stepped up to the challenge.
After losing two winner-to-state games, the Wolves have caught fire. Facing elimination on Saturday, the Wolves traveled to Vancouver and knocked off Evergreen 2-1 in a winner-to-state contest. Earning the third seed from District 2/4, Eastlake had to travel to Pasco Tuesday to face the defending 4A state champions in the opening round of the state competition. The Wolves again rose to the challenge, knocking the Bulldogs off 2-1 in a shootout.
Pasco took the initial lead, scoring in the 45th minute. Eastlake fought back, scoring in the 59th minute when Tyler Klein connected with Easton Fix on a long throw-in. Fix headed the ball in to knot the score 1-1. The game remained tied through the remainder of regulation and two five-minute overtimes, resulting in a shootout. Eastlake outscored Pasco 4-3 on penalty kicks, earning goals from Brandon Haberly, Klein, Justin Lewis and Nick Rudella. The Bulldogs had a chance to tie, but missed wide on their final attempt. Eastlake earned a trip to the quarterfinals for the second time in the last three years. The Wolves will face Mead at 1 p.m. tomorrow at Spokane’s Joe Albi Stadium for the right to play in the state semifinals May 23 in Lakewood.