For 80 minutes in Thursday night’s Class 4A West Central/Southwest bidistrict soccer match, neither Gig Harbor or Kentwood could find the back of the net.
Neither had much luck in the two five-minute overtime periods. The game was scoreless after 90 minutes of play, forcing a penalty shootout.
Kentwood finally prevailed, 2-1, with goals from seniors Garrett Rudolph and Brandyn Bangsund being the difference.
For the duration of the game, the Conquerors were on their heels, fending off a potent Tides attack. Kentwood was tested throughout but never surrendered a goal.
“The five guys I have in the back are all seniors,” Kentwood coach Aaron Radford said. “There’s times where we’ve relied on them this year in our battles. This is the most we’ve relied on them. They had to come through over and over tonight.”
Radford said the Tides, the No. 1 seed out of the 4A Narrows League, were the toughest opponent they’ve played this year. While Gig Harbor dominated possession and scoring chances, Tides coach Todd Northstrom said his team will need to finish in future games.
“I think when we did shoot, a lot of times, we just shot at the keeper,” Northstrom said. “We didn’t really challenge him at all. We didn’t really challenge him in the PKs, either. It was just one of those nights.”
Kentwood goes against Skyview at 2 p.m. Saturday at Mount Tahoma Stadium for a No. 1 seed to the state tournament. Gig Harbor faces Puyallup on Saturday at noon for the No. 3 seed to state.
While Radford acknowledged that Saturday’s game won’t be any easier, he said he likes his team’s chances.
“We’re walking off this field with some confidence about winning the game,” he said.
Skyview 3, Puyallup 1: There is a reason why Storm star Carter Johnson is the two-time Gatorade state player of the year — he is good.
Johnson’s two goals erased an early 1-0 Vikings lead, and Skyview (13-0-2) won at Doc Harris Stadium in Camas.
The Vikings (12-4-1) had scored first on Zach Munizza’s goal off a deflection in the 24th minute.Staff writer Todd Milles contributed to this report.