The Curtis High School boys soccer team, winner of seven straight heading into the Class 4A state quarterfinal against top-ranked Skyview, was primed to pull off an upset.
But Skyview senior midfielder Carter Johnson and his Storm teammates had other ideas.
Johnson, the two-time Washington Gatorade Player of the Year, scored the lone first-half goal, and the Storm got strong play on the defensive end, resulting in a 2-1 win at Viking Stadium in University Place.
“We finished fourth in our league and went to the (state) quarterfinals before losing to the top team in the state. … Pretty impressive,” Curtis coach Frank Hankel said.
Johnson scored in the 13th minute on a free kick from the left side, sending a rocket into the right corner past goalkeeper Carter Shirreff from about 25 yards out.
After very few solid looks in the first half, the Vikings finally got a chance to tie the score in the 49th minute, when they were awarded a penalty kick after a hand ball infraction.
But the Storm’s Evan Laws made a diving save on Eddie Na’s shot as it headed toward the left corner.
“The margin is paper-thin in these (state) games,” Hankel said. “The difference is one set piece from them and a penalty kick for us. If we don’t concede that set piece and we make our penalty kick, it’s completely different.”
Brandon Zilles added an insurance goal in the 73rd minute for Skyview (15-1-2), ultimately making Na’s goal for Curtis in the 78th minute insignificant.
Curtis (12-4-4), making its first appearance in the state quarterfinals since 2003, was without injured senior midfielder Sam Park and defender Nick Goodpaster, who left in the first half with a concussion.
Gig Harbor rallies to upend Curtis: Alana Ponce’s halfcourt shot with 3.5 seconds to go in the first half not only tied the score, but gave Gig Harbor the lift it needed to win the state girls water polo championships at the Curtis Aquatic Center.The Tides beat Curtis, 15-8.
Graham Kapowsin’s Megan Hagerty edged Auburn’s Lauren Thomquist, 6-2, 3-6, 7-6 (4), for third place out of the 4A West Central District III to the state championships.
In 3A, North Thurston’s Sidney Smith and Ainsley Winterrowd beat Lincoln’s Lilly Le and Miriam Cabrera, 6-0, 6-4, for the doubles title. In 2A, Franklin Pierce’s Gabrielle Bivins and Kristi Floyd lost in the final to Kingston’s Chelsea Rosebrook and Sarah Hamal.