Kyle Casey’s mom said it was because she made him put the tomatoes back in his sandwich earlier in the day.
Maybe it had to do with a fortunate bounce off the crossbar that landed in front of his feet and a nicely placed cross.
Either way, Kyle Casey’s two goals in the first 11 minutes of the Bellarmine Prep boys soccer team’s 3-1 victory over Evergreen of Vancouver on Tuesday at Mount Tahoma was exactly what the Lions needed to cruise into the Class 4A state quarterfinals.
“Absolutely electric,” Bellarmine Prep coach Joe Waters said. “The guy is so hard to mark.”
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“It was nice to get the opening goal,” Casey said. “And we didn’t take our foot off the gas.”
The Lions (12-1-2) advance to play the winner of Wednesday’s match between Mount Rainier and Snohomish later this week.
Bellarmine Prep came out with a relentless attack in the first half. The 4A Narrows League champions got Casey’s two early scores, but just missed on eight more great looks at goal.
The Plainsmen (6-7-4), who placed fourth in the 4A Greater Saint Helens League and made the state tournament after winning three consecutive elimination matches, didn’t get a shot on goal in the first half.
But try as he might, Casey never did get that hat trick.
“I wanted it so bad,” Casey said. “I guess that sort of contributed to me not taking my chances as well and not being as creative. I was too focused on getting that (third) goal.”
Robert Nurmi’s shot at goal in the opening minutes was deflected by Evergreen goalkeeper Enrique Bermudez. But it was deflected off the top of the goal post and it landed right in front of Casey.
He scored to put Bellarmine Prep ahead 1-0. Ten minutes later, Elijah Wolf sent a cross from left of the goal and Casey sent it into the back of the net.
The tone was set.
“They are just a quality team. A little more size, a little more physicalness,” Evergreen coach Keenan Burris said. “The No. 1 rule in the playoffs is you just don’t want to give up a goal too early. And we gave up a goal too early.”
That’s exactly what Olympia did to Bellarmine Prep in the 4A West Central District tournament Saturday, scoring in the first 16 seconds of the match. The Lions came back to win, 5-3, but midfielder Connor Thompson said it was imperative they jump on Evergreen early.
“We hadn’t seen this team before,” Thompson said. “So we had to come out fast. It was a big focus for us that we get on them quick and put them away early.”
The Plainsmen didn’t get their first shot on goal until the 46th minute.
Bellarmine Prep scored again in the 73rd minute on a goal from Ryan Clark and Evergreen prevented the shutout when Levan Zhividze scored on a free kick in the 79th.
“They were a very tough team,” Waters said. “They put their bodies on the line and they made it very difficult for our guys. We were relentless in our attacks against them and they held us off pretty good.”