One shot — the very last shot of the night at Ingersoll Stadium on Tuesday — made all the difference.
That shot came off of William Klemmer’s foot — a blast headed toward the bottom left corner of the goal. It was stopped short by Glacier Peak’s diving goalkeeper, Sahm Noorfeshan.
In that split second, after nearly two hours of grueling back-and-forth play, Capital’s run in the Class 3A state tournament ended in the first round.
“You never want it to go to PKs,” Capital coach Andrew Lopez said. “No one ever feels good going into PKs. We’ve practiced PKs pretty consistently for the past month and a half after practice, and tried to be prepared, but it was tough. It’s the difference between one shot.”
Glacier Peak won, 3-2 (5-4 shootout), but never led in regulation. Capital capitalized on a miscue in the 11th minute to make it 1-0.
Nigel El-Sokkary picked up a bump off Noorfeshan’s foot and sailed one into the back of the net from 30 yards out.
“It was just a mistake from the keeper,” El-Sokkary said. “I saw that he was going to try to play it short, so I tried to press the defender as fast as I could.
“We got lucky and he didn’t pass it to the defender. It was a miscue, so I just got to it as fast as I could and ripped one at the goal before he could get back.”
Capital survived plenty of nagging threats from the Grizzlies — who controlled possession for the majority of the game — but managed to clear the ball out all but twice. Capital’s back line and goalkeeper, Alyx Racimo, were consistently tasked with nudging Glacier Peak out of the box.
“We didn’t have possession of the ball most of the time, but we knew we could get them on the counter and we made sure to capitalize on those,” Lopez said.
After Keegan Rubio evened it from 20 yards out on some trickery from a corner in the 36th minute, El-Sokkary struck again. He took a through ball from midfield in the 48th minute, and dribbled to 15 yards out before knocking in a grounder.
“The ball came in, the line was really high and there was a lot of space behind them,” he said. “The man who was marking me was really tight to me, so if I just made a run across, I’d be through on goal.”
He was, and he ends his senior season with 30 goals and 22 assists. Of Capital’s 68 goals this season, El-Sokkary had a role in 76 percent of them.
Cage Roberge evened it again in the 66th minute on a chip shot into the right side of the net from point-blank range. No one scored again until the shootout.
Glacier Peak was perfect, and Capital fell one short after nailing four in a row. Connor Seed’s swift punch into the right corner was the decider.
“I feel like we definitely deserve more than we got out of tonight,” El-Sokkary said. “But Glacier Peak played well, they’re a tough team, and all we can do is wish them luck in the games to come.”
This is the first time Capital has reached the state playoffs since 2014, when it took second in 2A.
“This team, we’ve all had an incredible experience here, and how far we’ve gotten is a testament to our spirit and our chemistry,” El-Sokkary said. “Every member on this team puts in 100 percent, day in, day out. We fight for each other.”
Washougal 11, Rochester 0: The season ends in a shutout loss at home for the Warriors.
Washougal’s Paige Forsberg pitched five scoreless innings for the Panthers, allowing only two hits. She struck out eight to eliminate Rochester by 10-run rule in a 2A Southwest District tournament play-in game.
The game was scoreless for two innings until five hits — including a two-run single by Washougal’s Becca Bennett — made it 5-0 in the third. The Panthers added three apiece in the fourth and fifth to ice it.