SNOHOMISH — The Glacier Peak boys soccer team, in a 15-minute span, reveled in pure jubilation and endured the depths of a cruel, crushing moment.
Unfortunately for the Grizzlies, the high prolonged their season and the low ended it.
Trailing by a goal in the dying seconds of regulation’s stoppage time, GP’s Danny Guerrero struck a free kick 45 yards. His ball found the head of Keegan Rubio, who from 15 yards out and facing an extremely difficult angle, headed the ball back across goal and into the upper-right corner of the net to tie the score with Sumner at 2-2.
The Spartans stood shock. The Grizzlies mobbed Rubio.
A different scene played out minutes later during the second five-minute overtime period’s stoppage. Sumner’s Alec LaBarge sent a long throw-in into the box right in front of the goal. Spartans midfielder Michael Poe rose above everyone else and buried a shot into the back of the net with his head. Poe celebrated the walk-off goal with a backflip. Glacier Peak players dropped to their home-field turf in stunned silence.
“It’s just unfortunate,” GP coach Teddy Mitalas said. “It’s a 50-50. Are we going to head it out, or are they going to head it toward the goal?”
The result was a 3-2 double overtime 4A state tournament quarterfinal loss Saturday for the Grizzlies (13-4-1), who were hoping to return to the semifinals after placing third in state a year ago.
“The way we played in the second half, it just felt like we were going to do it,” Mitalas said. “The momentum changed. It’s just the game, but I wish we would have finished some of the opportunities that we had. I am proud of the boys.”
Glacier Peak was playing catch-up nearly the game’s entirety.
Sumner created a few scoring chances early, and LaBarge put the Spartans in front 1-0 in the 23rd minute after heading a ball past Glacier Peak goalkeeper Marco Guerrero on a pass from Johnathon Guglielmetti.
Minutes before the goal, the Grizzlies appeared to have snuck a ball inside the post to take their own lead. Sumner keeper Alex Pagonis pinned a ball off a header against the post, and the controversy was whether or not the ball crossed the goal line. Ultimately, the referee ruled no goal.
“I don’t know if that went it down there, but several people think it went in,” Mitalas said. “We don’t know, but we still need to finish (scoring chances) off.”
In the 36th minute, Danny Guerrero recorded the first of his two assists. He sent a cross from left to right that connected with defender Favi Zenteno, who was streaking down the right side of the field toward goal. Zenteno put a good swing on the ball and blasted a shot past Pagonis to tie the game at 1-1.
But in first half stoppage time, Sumner took the momentum back when Jared Butler cleaned up a ball bouncing right in front of goal off a free kick that extended the Spartans’ lead to 2-1.
The entire second half featured wave after wave of Glacier Peak’s attack. The Grizzles sent long balls, one-after-another, to Rubio and others, but GP couldn’t come up with an equalizer until Rubio finally made magic happen with seconds to play in regulation.
“Keegan is good in the air,” Mitalas said. “I just don’t want to keep focusing on that he has to score goals, but he does pull out the ones we need.”
Glacier Peak created a few legitimate scoring chances in overtime before ultimately succumbed to Poe’s game-winner off the long throw-in.
“I’m very proud of these kids,” Mitalas said. “Obviously, we’d like to be in the final four. I know I need to rebuild, because I am losing eight good seniors. You lose Keegan, Danny and Favi in the back, but we are going to find something to try and replace all those guys.”