As soon as the final penalty-kick attempt flew wide of the left post, reality sunk in.
The Wilson High School girls’ remarkable soccer season, which netted their first league title in 30 years, was over.
The Rams took four-time 3A state champion Kennedy Catholic to a pair of overtimes and a penalty-kick shootout before falling, 3-2, in the West Central/Southwest District tournament at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner on Saturday afternoon.
Neither team was sharp in the penalty-kick session – six of the eight attempts missed – but Kennedy’s Mary Witkowski (upper left corner) and Madeline Dailey (off left post) converted as the Lancers won the shootout, 2-0.
The teams were tied after regulation, 2-2.
Wilson scored in the third minute on Brittainy Cononica’s header off a corner kick. And, while the teams played to a virtual stalemate for the next 50 minutes, it appeared that score would stand up.
Then the scoring explosion hit – three goals in 90 seconds. Kennedy’s Celestina Ramirez scored twice in a minute – the second on a header in the 55th minute.
“At some point, in the second half for 10 to 15 minutes, it seemed like the intensity went down,” Rams coach Angie Karabaich said. “For the next year, we need to make sure and learn from our mistakes.”
Wilson’s Alexa Blackman answered 20 seconds later with her own header in the penalty box to tie it, 2-2.
From then on, the Rams looked weary. Their legs were wobbly. To get to a shootout was a big achievement.
“We need a lot of fitness. I saw that my teammates were getting off balance,” Canonica said. “I wish there was more we could do. We had a spark in our eyes after the first goal, and I wish we could have kept that up.”
Bonney Lake 4, North Thurston 0: The Panthers scored three goals in the first 23 minutes to earn their fifth consecutive berth to state.
Haleigh Ryneski scored the game-winner on a 12-yard shot in the eighth minute for the 2010 state runners-up. Eight minutes later, Jessyka Seger ripped a 25-yard screamer just inside the right post for another goal and a 2-0 lead for the Panthers.
The Panthers outshot North Thurston, 17-4. Madi Lowery had the shutout for the Panthers.
Bonney Lake (11-4) grabs the No. 1 seed, and will host Kelso on Tuesday at Sunset Chev Stadium.
Kelso 6, Foss 0: Ailee Vegh and Talyah Gorans each had a hat trick, and the Hilanders eliminated the Falcons, who were making their first trip to the postseason. Foss goalkeepers Jailynne Jones and Pawrisa Onmun did not play because of pre-college testing. Ninth-grader Treaunna Madison made her first career start in goal for the Falcons.