Skyline soccer advances to state semifinals in thrilling fashion

Mariner's boisterous soccer fans had moved to the fence, cocked and ready to rush the field at Everett's Goddard Stadium.

Pedro Miola rushes back to the Skyline sideline after scoring the game-winner two minutes into overtime. The 3-2 victory sends the Spartans to their first ever state semifinal appearance.

Pedro Miola rushes back to the Skyline sideline after scoring the game-winner two minutes into overtime. The 3-2 victory sends the Spartans to their first ever state semifinal appearance.

Mariner’s boisterous soccer fans had moved to the fence, cocked and ready to rush the field at Everett’s Goddard Stadium.

They anxiously chanted for the referee to blow the whistle in stoppage time of Saturday’s 4A state quarterfinal matchup with Skyline.

Then, with seconds remaining, Austin Dodd abruptly silenced the home sideline.

With a long pass soaring into the box, Travis Strawn collided with Marauder goalkeeper Ulises Hernandez and tapped the ball to Dodd. The junior, who was asked to help fill in for five missing Skyline starters, easily knocked in his second goal of the season to tie the game 2-2 and send it to overtime.

Dodd wasn’t done, however.

He doubled his season assist total two minutes into overtime on a play very similar to the one he just scored on. This time Dodd took a deep pass from Travis Burns, made contact with Hernandez in the box, and tapped it back to Pedro Miola. The junior midfielder buried his second goal of the game for a dramatic 3-2 victory, sealing the Spartans’ first ever trip to the state semifinals.

“It came to me in the air and I just hit it as hard as I could and Pedro followed it up and put it back in,” Dodd said. “It feels amazing. I put everything into this because I wanted to play next week. I wanted to make history for Skyline.”

Miola had just one thing on his mind when he received the dropped pass.

“All that went through my mind is ‘don’t miss,'” he said, smiling.

The Spartans never held a lead in regulation, falling behind 1-0 in the 38th minute after Yahir Sandoval’s penalty kick found the back of the net from 20 yards out.

Skyline tied the game in the 42nd minute on an unassisted score from Miola.

Mariner recaptured the lead, 2-1, in the 57th minute on Sandoval’s breakaway score.

Skyline, which out-shot Mariner 11-1 in the second half, got numerous looks, but just couldn’t find the back of the net — until they really needed it.

“This team has a way of making things extremely interesting, but what I love about this group is when they face adversity they’re extremely resilient and keep chugging until the end,” Spartan head coach Don Braman said.

Skyline had four starters — Geoffrey Enos, Cole Calabro, Jason Twaddle and Braxton Griffin —sidelined with injuries. Another starter, James Molyneux-Elliot, was out because he received a red card in the last game. Dodd and several other players stepped up in their absence.

“I knew I would get some minutes and I just wanted to put everything I had into it,” he said. “There’s a bunch of injured guys who are going to be back next week, I didn’t want them to not have a chance to play again.”

Skyline (14-2-2) will face defending 4A champion Stadium (13-1) at 8 p.m., Friday at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood for its first ever state semifinal appearance.

Eastlake blanks Garfield in quarterfinals

Eastlake scored early and often Saturday night against KingCo 4A rival Garfield, earning a 3-0 state quarterfinal victory in Sammamish.

The Wolves struck first in the 15th minute when James Gee netted a goal off an assist from Cole Glover. Sean Klauer tacked on an unassisted goal in the 21st minute and Gerard Galvin knocked in another unassisted score in the 24th minute.

Eastlake (12-3-2) will make its first state semifinal appearance since 2008 when it faces Kentwood (16-1-3) at 6 p.m., Friday at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood.

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