When tested during crunch time Thursday night, the Wilson High School boys soccer team’s offense came to life.
The push was enough to extend the game and keep things interesting, but ultimately not enough to finish the job.
After tying the score in the 77th minute to push the game to overtime, the Rams couldn’t get over the top, suffering a 2-1 shootout loss to Kennedy Catholic in a Class 3A West Central/Southwest bidistrict opening-round game at Franklin Pierce Stadium.
The loss sets up a loser-out contest for Wilson against Mountain View at noon Saturday at Highline Stadium.
“We’ve had a lot of slow starts this year,” Wilson coach Jason Gjertsen said. “I think if there is another five or 10 minutes in the game, we get a second goal.”
Trailing 1-0 at halftime and feeling desperate in the final minutes, Wilson (10-6-1) finally got the push it needed. Junior Munassar Saleh took a feed from Louis Fox and connected on a laser shot from about 25 yards out, sending the ball from the right side of the field into the upper left corner of the goal to tie the score.
“When he got it to me, I saw the goalie, and he was way far (out of the box), and I was like. ‘I have to take this,’ ” Saleh said.
The junior hit the shot perfectly,
and the Rams were right back in it. The teams then battled through two overtimes, with neither squad getting a great look at a winning shot. But Kennedy Catholic (12-1-5) was perfect on its penalty shots, converting all five against freshman goalie Alek Greenleaf, while the Rams scored on three.
“I was pretty confident he was going to make at least one save,” Gjertsen said of Greenleaf. “Hats off to their keeper (Leyton Thommasen). He made the one save, and they put all five in.”
While the Rams were able to turn things on late in games during the regular season on their way to capturing the 3A Narrows League title, things will have to change if they hope to keep playing in the postseason.
“We come nervous and shy (early), and then once we’re in the game, we really want it so bad,” Saleh said.
Neither team was able to put much together on offense in the first half. The half’s lone goal came on a penalty kick when Kennedy Catholic’s Colin Gilies booted the ball into the right corner past Greenleaf in the 21st minute.
Columbia River 2, Bonney Lake 1 (4-2 shootout): The Chieftains shocked the defending state champions at Kiggins Bowl in Vancouver, winning a district semifinal game in a shootout.
The Panthers (14-3-1) scored in the last minute to regulation to force overtime but could not earn a win. They will play Shelton in a winner-to-state, loser-out game Saturday at Highline Memorial Stadium.Staff writer Todd Milles contributed to this report.