MUKILTEO — Playing its fourth game in five days, Kamiak, the No. 3 seed in Wesco, couldn’t outlast Inglemoor, the No. 6 seed in KingCo, falling, 3-2, in extra time in a 4A Wes-King district loser-out game on Saturday at Kamiak High School.
The Knights topped Jackson, 1-0, on Tuesday to hand the Timberwolves their first league loss, but couldn’t muster a goal in a 1-0 loss to Mount Vernon. It forced a playoff game between Kamiak and Mariner, which the Marauders won, 1-0, in penalty kicks to earn the No. 2 seed in Wesco and a first-round bye.
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t start and end with this one,” Kamiak coach Kosta Pitharoulis said. “We didn’t get the job done Thursday. A tie and we’re playing Tuesday. We had another opportunity to get it done last night and we kind of put ourselves in this position, unfortunately.
“It’s a tough spot to be in and I feel for the guys.”
A Wesco rule states that any tie in the standings for a bye in postseason will be settled by a playoff game with 20-minute halves and two five-minute sudden death extra time periods. Having played Thursday and with the postseason set to begin on Saturday, the only day for the mini tiebreaker game was Friday.
Pitharoulis acknowledged an opportunistic Inglemoor team pounced on the opportunities during the Knights’ physical and mental lapses.
“I don’t want to take any of the credit away. Inglemoor did a nice job today and did what they needed to do to get the job done,” Pitharoulis said. “But unfortunately Wesco doesn’t do a good job of protecting their seeds very well. Hopefully we can make some adjustments in terms of the rules of our Wesco guidelines and we can really look out for our teams instead of putting our teams in tough situations.”
Kamiak’s season is over, while Inglemoor advances to play Redmond, which drubbed Lake Stevens, 5-0, on Saturday in another loser-out match.
The Knights jumped out to a 1-0 lead with defender Noah Venditto’s set-piece goal at the 21st minute. The senior center back rose and finished a header top shelf on Kaydin Wall’s cross from the right corner.
But the Vikings responded with a flurry in the second half, as senior defensive midfielder Nicolas Grotle netted two goals in the 53rd and 54th minutes to hand the Vikings a 2-1 lead.
“Our guys said, we stepped up the pressure there the second half and that was good,” Inglemoor coach Kevin McGibbon said. “They saw that as a good thing. It’s a pretty in-tune group and sensing the needs of the game and what the other team is doing.”
Kamiak’s Jungmin Hwang entered the game in the 61st minute and scored the equalizer in the 68th minute to send it to extra time.
Inglemoor senior Timur Akdemir scored in the 83rd minute to advance the Vikings through in the postseason.
The Knights graduate 10 seniors, including three captains, Harrison Rohrbough, Venditto and Connor Ruis.
Pitharoulis said he’s bullish on his programs future, despite some key departures.
“I don’t see why we shouldn’t be fighting for a top two or three spot next year,” he said.