Nigel El-Sokkary may like his space, but he doesn’t necessarily need it.
Sixteen minutes into Capital High School’s bi-district tournament game against Columbia River, El-Sokkary weaved through four defenders and ripped a goal into the top, right-hand corner of the net.
“I like my space, I like to get into the open spaces, but when it comes down to it, I feel like I do well under pressure,” he said. “I can create opportunities pretty well.”
El-Sokkary’s bullet from 20 yards out was all the Cougars needed in sealing a 2-0 win over the Chieftains on Thursday at Mount Tahoma High School in the Class 3A West Central/Southwest bi-district tournament.
Capital, the 3A Narrows League champion, was already guaranteed a trip to the state tournament next week, but the victory over Columbia River earns it a spot in Saturday’s bi-district championship game.
“The guys took this game seriously,” Capital coach Andrew Lopez said. “They knew it wasn’t do-or-die, but they knew it was important to come out and play their absolute best. … They know state is waiting for them, but they want to play the games that are in front of them and want to be successful.”
Capital controlled the pace most of the way and quickly silenced any scares from Columbia River at the other end of the field.
Scott Penner added the insurance two minutes after El-Sokkary’s strike. El-Sokkary took a free kick from 30 yards out that ricocheted off Penner’s head. The deflection sent the ball into the left corner.
“Somehow, (Penner) just finds it,” El-Sokkary said. “I just send the ball in and his head’s like a magnet to the ball. … I’m just glad he was on the end of it to convert an important second goal.”
Capital will play Auburn Mountainview in the bi-district championship game at 4 p.m. Saturday at Highline Memorial Stadium in Burien.
“It’s really important for us to keep fighting,” El-Sokkary said. “We understood that we’re already going to state, but we can’t be complacent with where we are right now. Every game matters because the teams are just going to keep getting better.”
Sumner 4, North Thurston 0: Elsewhere in the Class 3A West Central/Southwest bracket, the Spartans swiftly ended North Thurston’s season with a shutout.
Four different Sumner players scored goals in the contest, and four different players recorded assists.
Ryan Griffith (28th minute), Anthony Amaral (41st), Kolton Saiz (62nd) and Chris Anderson (75th) all connected for the Spartans.
Any chances the Rams had were quickly squandered, and Saiz’s goal in the second half was the back-breaker.
Aberdeen 2, Tumwater 0: Cesar Corona’s goal in the 19th minute helped end the season for the T-Birds at Tumwater District Stadium, knocking them out of the 2A Southwest District tournament.
He converted a turnover into a goal in the left corner, giving the Bobcats a lead they never lost. Miguel Torres scored from 18 yards out in the 61st minute to ice it.
Columbia River 0 0_0
Capital 2 0_2
Goals: C – Nigel El-Sokkary 16’; Scott Penner 18’, a. El-Sokkary