With three minutes to go in Peninsula High’s West Central/Southwest District second-round game against Central Kitsap on Thursday afternoon at Stadium Bowl, junior Maynor Martinez saw the Cougars’ keeper was out of position. So he let it rip.
“As soon as I shot it, I just prayed that it went in,” Martinez said.
The laser shot from about 30 yards out in the 77th minute indeed went in, right into the top right corner of the goal. But the stellar shot came too little, too late as the Seahawks suffered a season-ending 3-2 loss to the Cougars.
But still — what a shot. It was so good that it might win Martinez a dinner of his choosing.
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Peninsula coach Brad Scandrett holds a yearly contest for best goal of the season. The winner gets a dinner at a restaurant of their choosing. Up until now, junior Mason Haubrich was the frontrunner. Now, Scandrett isn’t so sure.
“That goal made it tough,” Scandrett said. “As far as timing, it was amazing. He had been working hard all game.”
Peninsula (9-9-0 overall, 7-7-0 SPSL 3A) dug itself into 2-0 a hole to start the game, conceding goals to Logan Beachy and Jaegar Skifstad in the first 10 minutes of the game.
“We were talking over each other a lot,” Martinez said. “We weren’t really communicating as a team. The first 20 minutes, we weren’t completely warmed up yet. It comes down to communication as a team. We were lacking that.”
Scandrett isn’t sure whether it was a lack of communication or simply being unprepared. Whatever it was, the coach said it’s been a common theme this season.
“We’ve done this to ourselves all year,” Scandrett said. “We’re used to putting ourselves in a hole and having to fight back.”
The Seahawks did fight back, turning momentum after the first 20 minutes and looking dangerous on set pieces. That threat eventually paid off right before halftime, as a Teyj Menon corner kick found the foot of senior Blake Cohoe to bring the score back to 2-1.
“One of the ways we like to play is inside and outside and cross it in,” Scandrett said. “We’ve scored a lot of goals on corners. That was huge for us.”
Central Kitsap (11-4-2, 10-2-2 Narrows 3A) got its third goal in the 66th minute, as junior Jaeger Skifstad was taken down in the box. He took the shot from the penalty spot and slotted in to the top right corner of the goal.
But Martinez’s late goal kept the Seahawks alive. With just seconds to go in the game, Peninsula won a corner kick. The service sailed in the box and hung around in front of the goal, bouncing around for a few seconds. But it was eventually cleared by the Cougars, ending the game.
“I thought we were going to get one,” Scandrett said. “Ultimately, we waited too long. The last 10 or 15 minutes, we dominated. We just waited too long to play that way. We talked about before the game, we need 80 full minutes. We got 60 minutes, but not all at once. It’s hard to win in the playoffs like that.”
Martinez was proud to his team fight to get back in the game.
“I love this team,” Martinez said. “This is a great team and a great program. I love coach Brad. The atmosphere of this team, (and) every teammate here is amazing and I love them all. I love this team and I’m just looking forward to my senior year with the boys. Hopefully we can make (it) farther than this.”