MUKILTEO — If Tuesday night’s Wesco 4A South girls soccer game between Cascade and Kamiak is any indication of the competitiveness of the division, then the South crown could come down to the final whistle.
Kamiak and Cascade battled to the final 18 seconds of the second overtime in the league-opening game for both teams. The Bruins ended up pushing in a frantic golden goal to earn a 2-1 victory.
“This is what it’s going to be like for the Wesco South,” Cascade coach Jamie Gay said. “Every game is going to be super competitive and come right down to the wire. You are going to have your best game every day.”
It may not have been Cascade’s best game all night — the Knights controlled possession for the majority of the evening — but the Bruins were at their best when it mattered most.
The Bruins nearly won the game in the first overtime, threatening on a pair of corner kicks, but stalwart Kamiak keeper Emma Makela rebuffed the attacks.
As the second overtime progressed, the game seemed destined for a tie in the minds of everyone on the field.
“It’s in the back of your head, but then you talk yourself out of it,” Cascade forward Denae Weigelt said. “You are like, ‘We are so close. We can’t work this hard and lose (the win) at that last second.’
“We are pushing. We are yelling at each other out on the field, ‘Last minute. Last minute!’”
Kamiak threatened deep in Cascade territory into the game’s final minute, but the Bruins quickly got into a counterattack led by Hannah Dowdell on the left side.
The Senior midfielder had pestered Kamiak up the left all game, only this time she raced by the Knights who were dragging up the field on tired legs.
Her powerful cross found Weigelt streaking down the right side and Weigelt one-touched to Rachel Detroit, who’s shot squirted past Makela and ended the game.
“I’m so glad that she got on the end of it,” Weigelt said. “I’m so thankful. It was a rush of emotions.”
Some of that emotion came from the fact that Cascade’s surprising 2011 season ended in penalty kicks on the same field. Kamiak celebrated that day and the Bruins remembered.
“They’d been talking about a couple tough losses we had at the end of last year,” Gay said of his team’s mindset going into the game.
The Bruins also had a tough loss against Edmonds-Woodway, the opponent they play host to Thursday and the Wesco South’s lone representative in the 2011 4A state tournament.
“We are going right from this tough one into the next tough one and that’s what we have to be prepared for every week,” Gay said.
For Kamiak, Tuesday’s game was about sheer will and endurance. Already missing six varsity players with a combination of minor injuries and lack of practice, coach Beth Stewart had to call on three JV players to suit up for the game.
One of those JV players suffered a concussion in the second half and backup keeper Shannon Peth injured a finger as well. So, most of the Knights in uniform played all 89 minutes and 32 seconds.
Stewart thought that her team had salvaged a point in the standings until the final shot went in.
“Unbelievable,” she said. “With the situation we had, and the players I had to put on the field today, honestly I was like, ‘Oh for God’s sake lets just get this tie.’”
It looked good when Knight’s freshman forward Emele Chaddock scored off a deflected Kamiak corner kick by Bailey Lux-Lowry in the 69th minute, tieing the score 1-1.
But ultimately the Knights wore down, especially on defense where their top two center fullbacks sat on the sideline and the perimeter defenders were playing in their first varsity game.
Anne Ferguson, who usually plays right mid, filled in admirably at center defender all game, but the back line fell through on Cascade’s final attack.
“Annie Ferguson did an amazing job in (playing) not even anywhere near her position,” Stewart said. “I really didn’t have any (experienced) defenders. … At the end of the day, I’m really proud of the girls.”
Cascade scored both its goals on similar plays. The first came in the 47th minute when Weigelt saw Dowdell streaking down the left side and she sprinted to the top of the 18-yard box. There she deflected a one-touch shot past a helpless Makela in goal.
“It’s a good start, but we want to go further than last year.” Weigelt said. “Especially ending on the way we did last year, this is a good starting point.”
At Kamiak H.S.
Goals—Rachel Detroit (C), Denae Weigelt (C), Emele Chaddock (K). Assists—Hannah Dowdell (C) 2, Weigelt. Goalkeepers—Cascade: Rachel Leupold. Kamiak: Emma Makela. Records—Cascade 1-0 league, 1-0 overall. Kamiak 0-1, 0-1.