SHORELINE — If the members of the Shorewood boys soccer team have proven nothing else this past week, it’s that they are one resilient group.
The Thunderbirds needed 10 penalty kicks to finally get past Stanwood in the first round of the 3A district 1 tournament. In the semifinals they had to hang on to beat what was the Wesco 3A’s best regular-season team in Glacier Peak.
Saturday night they capped it all off with a district championship, beating rival Shorecrest 2-1.
“There are so many different layers of how awesome this day was,” Shorewood head coach Bill Wilkins said. “We could be going for last place and the rivalry is huge, so there is always that energy. We talked about the fact that this could be the last game on this field for the 10 seniors. You just want to go out there and when you are inside the yellow lines give it your all and have no regrets.”
Senior Dylan Collins won’t have any regrets, but he will have a moment to remember. Collins goal in the 74th minute proved to be the game-winner for the Thunderbirds.
“It’s a great feeling, especially coming off of a loss to them at the end of the (regular-)season,” Collins said.
Shorecrest beat Shorewood 3-1 earlier this month — the Thunderbirds haven’t lost since.
Shorewood entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed from the Wesco South, but beat the two teams which finished above them as well as Stanwood, the No. 2 seed from the Wesco North.
“One of the things we’ve wanted to do and I think we’re doing is play our best towards the end of the season,” Wilkins said. “(We are) by no means perfect and it’s not without a lot of scares, but we’ve been able to rise above consistently now for two or three games and it’s critical at this time.”
Shorewood’s Kabir Khan scored the game’s first goal in the fifth minute and that lead lasted well into the second half. After several chances, the Scots finally tied the score in the 65th minute when junior Jonathan Luna-Blanco redirected a free kick by sophomore Leon Bormann with his head.
The game remained tied for just over nine minutes until Collins delivered what proved to be the dagger.
“He was looking forward to this opportunity,” Wilkins said. “He felt he could put (a goal) in. He got tired for a little bit and he came out and rested up a little and said, “I need to go back in. I know I can get one.’
“And he was true to his word.”
Shorewood will be at home for the first round of the state playoffs. The Scots will play on the road.
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Shoreline Stadium
Goals—Kabir Khan (Shorewood), Jonathan Luna-Blanco (Shorecrest), Dylan Collins (Shorewood). Assists—Leon Bormann (Shorecrest), Ian Callender (Shorewood). Goalkeepers—Shorewood: Isaac Whitaker. Shorecrest: Christian Gribsvad. Records—Shorewood 12-3-4, Shorecrest 15-4-0.