Chris Sutton just wants to keep playing high school soccer.
Olympia’s senior midfielder netted the game-winning goal in the final minute of overtime Thursday, as the 10th-seeded Bears upset fifth-seeded Curtis, 2-1, in a 4A West Central District tournament elimination game.
“Since we have so many seniors, we don’t want this to be the end of our season,” Sutton said. “We want to keep going forward with this.”
Olympia (10-5-3) clinched its first state berth since 2008 with the win.
Similar to their 3-1 win over Kentwood in the first round, the Bears scored early. Ian Hesse slipped one by Curtis goalkeeper Mason Mahoney — who had nine saves for the Vikings — in the 20th minute.
Curtis had an opportunity to equalize in the 44th minute, but Josh Lee tapped a penalty kick right into the arms of Olympia goalkeeper Davin Johnson. Lee rallied to find the net in the 68th minute, heading in a goal off a chip from Archie Caldwell to tie it at 1-1.
From there, it was quiet until Sutton’s dagger.
In the 89th minute, Conner Desmond — who sealed the win for Olympia against Kentwood with a goal in stoppage time — made a run at the goal, and was fouled just outside of the penalty box.
“It was kind of in the heat of the moment,” Sutton said. “The last, final minute, we knew we had to get it at least on frame.”
On the free kick attempt, Desmond, Sutton and Neil Boyal bounced around a few short passes to open up the Vikings defense before Sutton blasted the ball off his left foot into the top left-hand corner of the goal.
“It kind of seems to be our forte to find it early, hope to hang on for a long time, and finish it off with a bang,” Olympia coach Ty Johnson said.
The Bears will try to do the same once again on Saturday, as they play 4A Narrows champion Bellarmine (10-1-2) for second or sixth place at Mount Tahoma High School at 1 p.m. Bellarmine won both meetings between the two during league play.
Avery Bento tied it at 1-1 in the 75th minute, before Tino Lopez-Slish booted in the game winner a minute later. Mount Rainier plays No. 3 seed Puyallup for third or fourth place Saturday at 1 p.m. at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
A collective sigh of relief came from the Gig Harbor sideline after the ball landed in the left corner of the goal.
“It was a lot of relief,” Tides coach Todd Northstrom said of his team’s reaction. “It felt like we were pressing the ball a lot. We had a lot of opportunities, we just didn’t finish.
“So it was more of an exhale than anything.”
The Tides advance to face Tahoma at 7 p.m. Saturday at Tahoma for the 4A district title. Rogers season ends at 12-4-2.