By Rich Myhre For The Weekly Herald
It took a full 90 minutes for Marysville Getchell to knock off Lynnwood on May 2, and the Chargers needed every second.
Actually, every half-second.
Nate Nehring’s shot from in front of the net crossed the goal line precisely as time expired and gave host Marysville Getchell a thrilling 2-1 overtime Western Conference 3A soccer victory in the regular-season finale for both teams.
But it then took a few moments for the officials to huddle and determine if the shot was in the goal before time expired, and then a few more moments to stave off the protests of a few Lynnwood players that the goal was late.
“I’ve never seen a game where (the winning goal) went in in the last second,” Marysville Getchell coach Geoff Kittle said. “And it was literally the last second.”
With the stadium clock being the official time, there was a fraction of a second between the scoreboard showing 0:00 and the horn sounding. Kittle and Lynnwood coach Ryan Camden agreed that Nehring’s shot crossed the goal line precisely in that split second.
“In my opinion, I thought the clock hit zero … and the horn was like a half-second late,” Camden said. “I think if we had a review method like basketball, (the goal) probably would have been called back. So that was disappointing.”
According to Kittle, the horn is the actual indicator of time being expired, not the numbers on the scoreboard clock. “And I saw that ball go across the line when the horn went off,” he said.
There was, he added, “a little controversy there. And I’d hate to be on the other end of that.”
The two teams began the night with matching 9-4-2 Wesco records, tied for second place behind undefeated Shorewood. With the win, Marysville Getchell clinched the league’s No. 2 berth.
It will be the first home playoff game in history for Marysville Getchell, a first-year school, “so it’s pretty exciting for our guys,” Kittle said.
Lynnwood will also play on Saturday against Sedro-Woolley. “We’re going to move forward from this,” Camden said. “We’re going to focus on practice and get ready for Saturday.”
The Chargers scored first on a goal by Kyle Reynolds with about four minutes left before halftime. Reynolds, a defender, had moved forward when the ball was being kicked around in a crowd of players in front of the net, and suddenly it caromed back to him. He blasted a shot into the upper left corner of the net.
Lynnwood answered about three minutes later when forward Vinh Nham spun away from a defender right of the net and sent a shot across the goal mouth into the left corner.
Both teams had chances for a go-ahead goal in the second half, but the score at the end of regulation was still 1-1. And neither team had a great chance in overtime until Marysville Getchell got the game-winner as time expired.
The final moments began with a Charger throw-in from the right sideline with about 10 seconds on the clock. The ball ended up in front, a few shots were deflected, and suddenly the ball ended up at the feet of Nehring, a junior defender.
“There were only a few seconds left,” Nehring said, “so we threw everybody up there, just hoping something would happen. A lot of people took shots and there were a lot of deflections, but I just managed to get a touch in there and got it in (the net).”
“Every one of the players for both teams was in the box except for our keeper,” Kittle said. “We were going for broke.” And to win like that, he added, “was just an awesome experience for these guys.”