UNIVERSITY PLACE — Brandon Pruett lunged to his left, knocking away the blast.
One penalty kick down, and it was clear momentum had sided with the Olympia High School boys soccer team.
Fate, however, can intervene rather quickly when a match is decided this way.
One attempt struck the crossbar, another sailed slightly high for Olympia, and suddenly the cheers were coming from the Tahoma side.
Olympia saw its season come to an end with a heartbreaking 2-1 (5-4 shootout) loss to Tahoma in a 4A West Central District/Southwest bidistrict match Thursday at Curtis High School.
“This was the hardest we’ve played all season,” Olympia coach Ty Johnson said. “The guys left it on the field, gave a full (80 minutes). To lose it on penalty kicks is disappointing, but I couldn’t ask for anything more out of them.”
Tied at 1 after regulation and two five-minute overtimes, the match headed to penalty kicks, where Pruett opened things by stopping Edgar Sepulveda’s attempt.
Olympia followed by successfully connecting on its first three attempts — getting goals from Jamison Corbin, Jayce Kemp and Chris Sutton.
Tahoma, the third-place team out of the 4A South Puget Sound League
North Division, followed up Sepulveda’s miss by hitting its next five attempts.
Jonas Sarbach just missed making it 4-for-4 for Olympia, but the senior’s shot nicked the crossbar and bounced over the net, opening the door for Tahoma to seize victory.
After Neil Boyal scored on Olympia’s fifth PK attempt, Andrew Hoang’s shot drifted wide of the net on the right side, and the Bears’ season was over.
“Brandon stopped one out of five. That’s what you want from your goalie in PKs,” Johnson said. “It’s a game of inches. We had one hit the crossbar. That’s the difference. We could have kept playing until the cows come home, and we may not have had a winner so it goes to penalty kicks. It’s a difficult way to lose.”
Olympia finishes its season with a record of 9-6-2.
Tahoma (11-2-4) advances to play Curtis — a 1-0 (5-4 shootout) winner over Jefferson on Thursday – at Art Crate Stadium on Saturday with the winner securing the district’s sixth seed to the state tournament.
Colin LaBranche’s goal in the 77th minute gave Olympia the equalizer.
Olympia had several quality scoring chances towards the end of regulation and in both overtimes, but could not register the decider.
Matt Linhart almost ended it 21/2 minutes into the first OT when his powerful blast from 25 yards out ricocheted off Tahoma goalkeeper Riley Grant and trickled towards the net before Grant made the late stop.
“I thought we had them back on their heels,” Johnson said. “We had a number of opportunities. We just couldn’t find the back of the net.”
As it has been all season, Olympia was stellar on defense. Davin Johnson got the start in goal for Olympia before being replaced by Pruett.
“We have two all-league-caliber goalies on our team,” Johnson said. “We’ve rotated them all season. It’s a great luxury for us to have. I thought both played great.”
After a scoreless first half, Tahoma scored in the 63rd minute after Justin McMaster punched in a rebound.
It came after a Tahoma free kick from 40 yards out was headed directly in front of the goal by Sean Owens.
Johnson leaped and managed to get a hand on the ball, driving it towards the lower left corner, where McMaster was waiting and knocked it in.
“It was a set piece. They executed, and Davin made a great save,” Johnson said. “He was fully extended. Unfortunately, they had someone there to knock it in.”
2A DISTRICT IV
Capital 3, W.F. West 0: The Cougars remain alive in the consolation bracket of the district tournament, shutting out 2A Evergreen Conference rival W.F. West behind goals from Nigel El-Sokkary (two) and Aiden Klemmer.
Capital faces Mark Morris, a 4-0 winner over Centralia, in Saturday’s winner-to-state, loser-out game at Ingersoll Stadium. Game time was not announced Thursday night.
3A WCD/SW BIDISTRICT
Shelton 3, Kelso 1: The Highclimbers advance to play in a winner-to-state, loser-out game at 2 p.m. Saturday at Highline Memorial Stadium against Bonney Lake.
Bonney Lake, the state’s top-ranked 3A team, was a 2-1 (4-2 shootout) loser to Columbia River.Staff writer Meg Wochnick contributed to this report.