When regulation ended, the Tumwater High School girls soccer team sewed up the No. 1 seed out of the Class 2A Evergreen Conference.
When Bella Foos sent in a penalty kick beyond the reach of Devin Herbert, that nicked the left goal post and ricocheted into the back of the net, the T-Birds clinched the league’s outright title.
“We’ve been practicing all week because we knew this might be a possibility, and of course, it did happen,” Foos said.
Again. For the second time this season, Tumwater (15-1, 10-0 2A EvCo) and Black Hills (13-3, 8-2) played through the end of regulation tied, battled through two overtimes and settled the game on penalty kicks.
Tuesday’s result mirrored the last. Tumwater, again, escaped in a shootout, this time 4-3, to trump the Wolves at Tumwater District Stadium.
“Whenever it’s down to those five-minute (overtime) halves, it’s just super hectic and it’s not quite soccer,” Foos said. “It’s just kickball at that point, so I kind of knew it was going to come down to (penalty kicks) just like last time.
“Same results as last time. Just a matter of luck, and we held together until the very end.”
Tumwater struck first in the 25th minute. Rillee Stillings avoided a pair of defenders near the goal line and crossed the ball to Foos, who placed it in the back left corner of the net.
“I just saw the gap and saw the near post open and just kind of tapped it,” Foos said. “It was a really good play by Rillee.”
But Tumwater didn’t hold the lead long. Black Hills freshman Jordyn Bender was brought down inside the box by several Tumwater defenders in the 38th minute.
Sydney Lowe fired the penalty kick to the bottom right corner of the net to even it at 1-1.
But it was quiet for most of the second half. Lowe fired off a series of shots but couldn’t connect. Tumwater couldn’t quite finish on a couple of opportunities either.
“Both teams fight, and fight hard, try to work a certain system of play and try to make things happen,” Black Hills coach James Corbin said.
Black Hills needed to win by two or more goals to clinch the No. 1 seed for the fourth straight season. The Wolves, instead, will settle for No. 2.
When overtime began tied at 1-1, because of the golden goal rule, the best Black Hills could win was a share of the league title — but Tumwater didn’t allow that either.
“It always comes down to these two schools — or at least it has for the last several years,” Tumwater coach Brett Bartlett said. “That being the case, there’s not just the league championship on the line, but community pride as well. … There wasn’t a question to whether they would keep fighting or not because of that.”
Black Hills took an early lead in the shootout after Emma Lindsay connected for a goal and Herbert blocked the following shot by Hailey Sanne.
But then the T-Birds connected on four straight goals by Mikayla Kee, Stillings, Stephanie Moore and Foos’ game-winner.
“They had put it out there as a goal —undisputed, undefeated league champs, let’s go get it,” Bartlett said. “And they did it.”