OLYMPIA – Capital boys soccer coach Kyle Jones wanted to clock watch. But there was no clock to watch as the scoreboard was not working due to renovations at Ingersoll Stadium.
All the Cougars needed was to tie visiting Wilson and they would be Narrows League 3A champions. But Jones didn’t know how much time was left in the match Tuesday as the game clock was kept on the field.
Jones got an update: Three minutes to go.
After 180 ticks of the clock – extremely long ticks, from Jones’ perspective – the Cougars tied the Rams, 2-2, giving Capital the Narrows title.
“I didn’t think it was going to end,” Jones said. “I kept screaming at the refs, wanting to know how much longer we had left. I thought the more I asked, the faster the clock would go. That didn’t turn out to be the case.”
Bryce Joling scored once and assisted on a Ben Remy goal for the Cougars.
“It has just been remarkable what this team has been able to accomplish this season,” Jones said. “They had to deal with a coaching change, losing a number of quality seniors from last year’s team and all the issues with the stadium. For them to finish the regular season as league champion says a lot about who they are.”
Capital (10-2-4 overall, 8-0-2 league) will take the league’s top seed into Saturday’s West Central District III/Southwest District IV winner-to-state play-in game at 3 p.m. Saturday at Highline Stadium in Burien.
The Cougars, who are 9-0-4 since losing a nonleague contest to Enumclaw on March 16, 2-1, will play the fourth seed out of the South Puget Sound/Seamount League, the winner of today’s match between SPSL No. 4 Enumclaw and Seamount No. 2 Kennedy.
The Lancers ended the Cougars’ season last year, overcoming a three-goal deficit to win, 4-3 (5-4 shootout), during district play.
“We are going to enjoy winning the league title tonight,” Jones said. “Then get right back to work tomorrow.”
Wilson (11-1-4, 7-1-2) enters the postseason as the Narrows No. 2 team and will play the winner of Auburn Mountainview and Bremerton at 6 p.m. Saturday at Auburn Memorial Stadium.
The Rams, who lost the earlier meeting against the Cougars, 2-1, on April 19, struck first, getting a goal on a Chris Peterson free kick in the 22nd minute.
It was the only goal of the first half, in which Capital appeared to control the tempo.
“That’s just soccer, though,” Joling said. “You can dominate a half, get all the possessions, have all the shots and still be trailing at the half. We knew if we kept playing aggressive the goals would come.”
And they did, five minutes into the second half on a Joling penalty kick.
In the 67th minute, a perfect Joling pass found Remy in front of the goal. Remy was able to get just enough of his foot on it to redirect it past Wilson goalkeeper Mason Portalski to give Capital its first lead, 2-1.
“He didn’t get much on it,” Joling said, “but he got enough to score. Ben just has a knack of scoring on goals like that.”
Remy’s goal proved to be crucial as Wilson’s Alex Eiffert scored the equalizer in the 74th minute, punching it in following a Rams corner kick.
“The goal coming in was to be aggressive on offense,” Joling said. “When had been playing a 4-3-3 the entire game, but once we went up 2-1 we went to a 4-4-2, a much more defensive approach.
“Whatever it takes to win a championship.”