MARYSVILLE — After goalkeeper Eric Ibanez made a sliding save to his left on a Kamiakin penalty kick in second-half stoppage time, it appeared the Marysville Pilchuck boys soccer team had survived a potential last-second heartbreak.
Then came a raised flag from one of the referees, who ruled Ibanez had stepped forward off the goal line prior to the kick.
The violation gave the Braves a second chance, and they made the most of it.
Caden Egli sent the second penalty kick into the lower-right corner of the net for a stoppage-time game-winner as visiting Kamiakin handed Marysville Pilchuck a season-ending 2-1 loss in a Class 3A state opening-round match Tuesday at Quil Ceda Stadium.
Afterward, Tomahawks coach Paul Bartley lamented the foul call that set up the initial stoppage-time penalty kick, which came after a Kamiakin player tried to split two Marysville Pilchuck defenders. There was contact between one of the defenders and the Kamiakin player, and the latter fell to the ground.
“There’s no way a game like this — which was a good game, a back-and-forth game — you don’t want it to come down to a mystery foul,” Bartley said.
With the victory, Kamiakin (12-5) advanced to the 3A state quarterfinals to face Mountain View.
For the Tomahawks (16-3-1), it was a crushing end to a success-filled season that included their second consecutive Wesco 3A/2A title and first state appearance since 2014.
After the teams played a scoreless first half, Marysville Pilchuck created a pair of chances early in the second half before Randy Galvan broke through for the match’s first goal.
In the 43rd minute, Galvan received a pass on the left sideline and made a defender miss while dribbling toward the left goal post. The senior forward then made another defender miss as he cut back toward the middle, clearing just enough space to fire a shot into the right portion of the net for a 1-0 Tomahawks lead.
“I thought that we owned the first half (and) we owned the first part of the second half,” Bartley said. “ … All we needed to do was keep doing what we were doing.”
Marysville Pilchuck nearly added to its lead just before the midway point of the second half. Off a long throw-in, the Tomahawks sent a header toward the right side of the net, but Kamiakin’s goalkeeper made a leaping one-handed save to keep it a one-goal margin.
Just one minute later, the Braves evened the score.
After receiving a perfectly placed header in between three Marysville Pilchuck defenders at the top of the 18-yard box, Egli slotted a 59th-minute equalizer into the lower-left portion of the net to make it 1-1.
“I think (we) were just trying to sit on the (one) goal, and that cost us,” Bartley said.
The match — which was physical, chippy and featured more than a handful of yellow cards — remained tied until the stoppage-time foul and ensuing penalty kicks.
After burying the eventual game-winning kick, Egli celebrated his second goal of the match by sprinting toward the grandstands and tapping the “Braves” lettering on the front of his jersey. The Kamiakin senior then did a fist pump and was mobbed by his teammates.
The Tomahawks, meanwhile, were in disbelief. One Marysville Pilchuck player crumbled to the ground and knelt face-down in the turf. Another shielded his face with his jersey.
Once play resumed, the Tomahawks made one final push in the closing moments of stoppage time. But they weren’t able to generate a last-ditch scoring chance, and the clock ran out on their season.
“We got a couple of flurries at them where we had opportunities to put the ball in the goal, and we just didn’t do it,” Bartley said. “… That’s just soccer. It doesn’t mean the best team wins or loses. It’s just that’s the way it goes.”