By David Krueger Herald Writer
ARLINGTON — Lakewood’s Sam Roe walked up to attempt the first kick of the shootout between the Cougars and Archbishop Murphy, and was distressed to see his attempt go wide.
But rather than get down on himself, he decided to make up for it. The Lakewood goalkeeper blocked one kick and watched three teammates make their shots as the Cougars prevailed 3-2 in the shootout to win the Cascade Conference match 2-1 at Lakewood High School.
“In practice, I’m always hitting the side net, just bragging about it kind of,” Roe said with a smile. “Then I come up in the game like that — and we have kind of a rough field, but no excuses on missing my PK — but my teammates came up big for me. That’s all I can ask for. I’ve got to thank them.
“I’m trained to save, not shoot.”
It was the Wildcats’ first loss of the season and the Cougars’ first victory over Archbishop Murphy in four years. The last time Lakewood defeated the Wildcats was four years ago at home.
In a shootout.
“We don’t like them. We’ll just take them,” Lakewood head coach Bryce Barker said of the Cougars’ shootouts with Archbishop Murphy.
Lakewood’s Evan Thorpe tied the score 1-1 Wednesday with a goal in the 71st minute. The two teams then battled back and forth through the rest of regulation and two five-minute overtime periods with neither being able to score. After Roe’s miss in the shootout, Thorpe, Randy Anaya and Ricky Rosales made their attempts to clinch the victory for Lakewood.
The win was especially sweet for Roe, who went to Archbishop Murphy his freshman year, but then moved to Lakewood (6-2 league, 6-2-2 overall), where he’s played the past three years. He knows a few players on Murphy’s current team and said there was a little friendly smack talking before the game.
“It feels pretty good. I’ve been losing to them my high school career. Every time,” Roe said. “It feels pretty good to come back and take down (one of the top teams) in the state. It means a lot in front of the home fans.”
Barker is thrilled to have Roe at Lakewood and said the senior goalkeeper put a lot of work in during the offseason to improve. Roe also has played center defensive back and midfield for the Cougars this season.
“He’s been a big leader for us,” Barker said. “He’s a big leading factor in a lot of our low-scoring games and our shutouts. If you look back at the stats last year, I think we gave up the third-most goals in the league. … At that Cedarcrest game (on Monday), we came in with 341 minutes without giving up a goal, and that’s a far departure from where we were at last year.”
Wildcats’ senior Jalen Crisler, who along with Gabe Astone accounted for Archbishop Murphy’s shootout goals, gave Archbishop Murphy (7-1, 8-1-1) a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute. He shot a free kick just outside the penalty box past Roe. The Wildcats controlled possession in the first half, outshooting Lakewood 10-0, and in the first part of the second half before the Cougars were able to rally late.
“We were shortening the game, taking it minute by minute, play by play,” Barker said. “We wanted to try to slow down their attack and get as much possession as we could in the first half. Murphy’s full of extremely talented players and trying to get any possession back from them is incredibly difficult. It wasn’t the prettiest first half in the world, but we got that 0-0 score line going in (to halftime).”
The early Archbishop Murphy goal in the second half put a bit more pressure on Lakewood, but Barker was confident in his team’s ability to respond late.
They didn’t disappoint him.
“Our team’s been pretty resilient. We’ve gone real late with a lot of the teams with tight scores,” Barker said. “It’s kind of been the trend of our games — defending, defending like our lives depend on it till we get to that final bit of the game and then see if we get an opportunity.”
It was the first league loss for Wildcats’ head coach Mike Bartley, who is in his second year coaching Archbishop Murphy.
“It feels great. We’ve been looking forward to a game like this,” Barker said. “We haven’t gotten a chance to compete with them real hard for at least three years now. We knew them coming here would be a great opportunity for us to put our best foot forward and kind of make that next step. Protect the home field. This was a big one circled.”
Roe, who saved almost 20 shot attempts, celebrated with the Lakewood fans who ran onto the field after the game. After all the diving and celebrating, he was understandably exhausted.
“I’m pretty tired,” Roe said. “… But in my high school soccer moments this is up there. This is definitely the biggest win in my high school career.”
At Lakewood H.S.
Goals–Jalen Crisler (Archbishop Murphy), Evan Thorpe (Lakewood). Goalkeepers–Archbishop Murphy: Jeff Scavotto. Lakewood: Sam Roe. Records–Archbishop Murphy 7-1 league, 8-1-1 overall. Lakewood 6-2, 6-2-2.