SHORELINE — Meadowdale freshman Ethan Borland admitted his legs were wobbly, due to the tension of the moment, as he placed the ball down for the sixth round of penalty kicks.
By his execution, there was no indication that the freshman was nervous, tucking his shot in the left post that prompted his teammates to chase him with glee down the near sideline.
Borland helped lift the second-seeded Mavericks to a 2-1 victory (5-4 penalties) over sixth-seeded Edmonds Woodway in a 3A district semifinal on Tuesday night at Shoreline Stadium. The win advanced Meadowdale to the state tournament for the first time since 2005.
“(It’s) just pure joy, pure happiness,” Borland said on finishing his penalty, “because we’ve worked so hard throughout the season to get here and now we’re going to state … It’s a blessing.”
Winning via a penalty shootout is nothing foreign to the Mavericks in the postseason. Meadowdale advanced the district semifinals with a 2-1 shootout victory over Snohomish on Saturday.
“That’s something we’ve practiced every day for the last two weeks,” Meadowdale head coach Michael Nelson said. “And the boys executed. They had ice in their veins.”
On Tuesday night, junior midfielder Momodou Sidibeh, senior midfielder Cole Jackson, sophomore forward River Stewart, sophomore forward Juan Alvarez and Borland converted shots for the Mavericks. Goaltender Kyle Houk made a key save on Warriors defender Christopher Hanby in the sixth round of penalties.
Since Nelson took the helm as Meadowdale’s head coach, the Mavericks have been a postseason fixture, but have fallen short in loser-out, winner-to-state matchups in 2015 and 2018.
Getting over the hump, against their archrival nonetheless, made the victory that much sweeter.
“It’s my favorite win,” Nelson said of his entire tenure at Meadowdale. “Woodway is a great team, great side. … This was a great way to punch our ticket to state.”
The Mavericks also avenged a tightly contested 2-1 loss to the Warriors in the regular season.
“The way we lost last time was just so tragic,” Borland said. “To come out and beat them again was really nice for all of us.”
Meadowdale, along with clinching a state berth, advanced to the district championship game at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Shoreline Stadium, where they’ll play fifth-seeded Marysville Pilchuck.
The Warriors drop down to the loser’s bracket for a loser-out, winner-to-state game on Thursday at Shoreline Stadium against Squalicum.
The score was knotted at halftime after a fairly sleepy opening 40 minutes, with no shots on goal recorded. The Mavericks’ best look was a header in the box courtesy of Stewart that sailed over the crossbar in the 8th minute. The Warriors’ was a shot off a deflection in the box that fell to senior forward Ben Forder’s foot that wasn’t connected upon properly and went wide left of the goal.
Stewart hammered home his own rebound after his first shot was saved by goaltender Mackey Guenther in the 53rd minute.
Senior forward Gian Rodriques recorded the equalizer in the 74th minute, connecting on a diving header on the free kick from Sebastian Sanchez-Ortega.