With a penalty shootout looming and the seconds ticking down in overtime, a thought crossed Gig Harbor boys soccer coach Todd Northstorm’s mind:
“We can’t lose in the quarterfinals this year, can we?”
The Tides’ 4A state quarterfinal game against Wenatchee did end up in penalty kicks on Saturday and Gig Harbor did lose, falling 3-1 after finishing regulation and overtime tied at 2. The result comes one year after the Tides were bounced from the state tournament by Kentwood, 2-1, on penalty kicks in a quarterfinal game.
The Tides players reacted with sadness and shock, sitting slumped over on the turf at Roy Anderson Field in Purdy.
“I hate PKs,” said Gig Harbor senior Ike Northstrom, who scored the tying goal with about seven minutes left in regulation. “It’s sad when it comes down to it because the best team doesn’t always win. …
“But props to them. They kept their composure and made their kicks.”
Although Gig Harbor never led in the game, the Tides dominated the action over the final minutes.
In the final five minutes of regulation alone there were shots — a header just over the crossbar by Chase Alire, a blast from 12 yards out skied over the goal by Jon Brown and another from 24 yards out by Northstrom that deflected off of Wenatchee goalie Raphael Jimenez — that would have won it.
And in overtime, Tides forward Joel Jacobsen had a 1-on-1 against Jimenez — albeit on an angle from the right side — but sailed a shot over the goal.
On the other end of the field, Wenatchee coach Dennis Tronson breathed a sigh of relief when the game went to a shootout. The Panthers had played — and won — four shootouts this year already.
“I was confident,” Tronson said. “Our keeper came up big.”
Wenatchee made all three of its penalty kicks. Gig Harbor made its first, but missed the next three, two sailing high and the other on a nice save by Jimenez, who smothered a shot by Northstrom.
“I know the guys are mad about missing their PKs but we had opportunities that we did not finish,” Todd Northstrom said. “It’s unfortunate, but that’s soccer. You hate it sometimes and love it at other times.”
Wenatchee opened the scoring with seven minutes, 40 seconds left in the first half when Giovanny Soto stole an errant pass at Gig Harbor’s 40-yard line, dribbled about 10 yards and then fired a shot into the bottom right corner.
The lead did not last long. One minute later, Brown scored on a nifty goal after a cross by Cooper Branham.
In the second half, Wenatchee pulled ahead 2-1 when Alex Medina scored with 28 minutes left after converting a through ball. The game stayed that way until Ike Northstrom scored on a play in front of the goal after the ball, served in by Stepp on a free kick and bounced off Jacobsen and Jimenez.
Soon after, Inglemoor’s Burke Fahling sent a strike from the 25-yard-line into the upper right corner of the goal to tie the game in the 80th minute and score for the second time in three minutes.
Evan Ponto then scored with almost two minutes left in overtime to complete the stunning comeback at Tahoma High School.
Logan Wood scored in the 11th minute for Tahoma and added his second goal on a header off a free kick in the second half. It was his 20th and 21st goals of the season.
After a bounce-back win over Camas in the state quarterfinals on Wednesday, Tahoma ends it season at 17-2-0.
“These kids… ,” Tahoma coach Jason Johnson said. “We brought them in as freshmen. They were raw, they were silly and we just loved them. … They grew into amazing me.”
Kristian Gubsch added the other goal for Fife, which advances to the 2A state semifinals to face Othello at 8 p.m. Friday at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner.
It’s Fife’s second trip to the state semifinals since winning the state title in 2012.