OAK HARBOR — Aidan Klemmer said he wasn’t the hero, just the right guy in the right spot at the right time.
Klemmer’s golden goal with seconds left in overtime carried Capital to a 1-0 win over Anacortes on Tuesday in the first round of the Class 2A boys soccer playoffs.
The Cougars (19-2) will face Kingston (18-2), a 2-1 (4-3 shootout) winner over Orting, in the state quarterfinals later this week. The date and location were not determined as of Tuesday night.
First-year Capital coach Andrew Lopez called the win gratifying.
“We were knocked out of the state playoffs in this round the last two years, so this is an excellent feeling,” he said.
After a scoreless first half, Lopez said his club made some changes at the break.
“The first half wasn’t working so well for us, so we added an extra guy in the middle.”
Lopez said he was worried not so much about what was happening on the pitch but that the game potentially was the final match of the season.
“If you are not worried, something is wrong,” he said.
Anacortes did its part to keep the tension up, dominating offensively most of the match.
Capital went nearly 40 minutes without a shot until Klemmer’s game-winner.
Lopez stressed to his troops to keep their defensive shape and the opportunity would come.
“(The Seahawks) were throwing a lot of kids forward,” he said. “I knew if we stayed focused and kept our shape we would get our chance.”
That chance came deep into the first five-minute overtime, when Capital countered off an Anacortes assault. The Cougars took off on a break, and Kellen O’Neill fired a shot that Seahawks keeper Dane Lukasik knocked down. Klemmer picked off the rebound and drilled the back of the net from 10 yards out.
Klemmer said he was hustling up field on the break when the ball bounced his way.
“I just happened to be the guy there,” Klemmer said.
Klemmer scored the goal, but the Cougar defense, led by keeper Jakob Racimo, was equally responsible for the win.
As Racimo was turning back the Seahawks’ attack, Lopez turned to his assistants and said, “We are so lucky to have Jake.”
“He was excellent; he was on,” Lopez said. “He is such an athlete, so physically dominating in the box. He was brave. And cool. I was nervous, but he was cool under the pressure.”
Capital’s Wilder in the lead: Capital High School senior Kelsey Wilder shot a 12-over-par 83 to take the lead after the first day of the 2A District IV girls golf tournament at the Mint Valley Golf Course in Longview.
Thirty-one golfers made the cut of 112 on the par 71 course for Wednesday’s final round. The top 17 golfers after Wednesday qualify for the Class 2A state girls golf championship at The Classic Golf Club in Spanaway on May 28-29.
In the final group Wednesday with Wilder is Tumwater senior Kayla Monroe, who is two shots back at 85, and Hockinson’s Shelby LaTourrette (92).Staff writer Meg Wochnick contributed to this report.