Not this time.
Shorewood avenged a 3-0 loss to Jackson March 31, with a 2-1 win over the Timberwolves in a hard-fought game Tuesday, April 29 at Shoreline Stadium.
The Thunderbirds earned a league soccer title for the first time since 1986.
It made for a sweet senior night for Shorewood’s nine seniors who helped secure a No. 1 seed to the 4A District 1 playoffs and the team’s first state playoff berth since 2004.
“Especially since it’s our senior year for the majority of the team,” said senior center midfielder Ciaran Regan, who scored the winning goal. “It’s nice knowing we actually did something with the team this year.”
Regan drilled a direct free kick from 30 yards out into the back of the net in the 52nd minute to break a 1-1 tie.
Regan, who also scored on a free kick in a 3-1 win over Kamiak April 23, said he’s been working on his free kicks. “That ball really just slices, I’m watching it from the back, from the 50-yard line. It goes up and down,” Shorewood defender John Weber said.
Shorewood fired 27 shots on goal, 18 in the second half, an attack that T-birds’ coach Mark Wisdom described as a “pummeling.”
It appeared that defender Steven McGinley had headed the ball in off a corner kick two minutes before Regan scored, but it was waved off because McGinley made contact with Jackson goalkeeper Kevin Springer.
“It was hectic, just nothing but chaos back there,” said Springer, who had nine saves. “My guys fought hard but I couldn’t get the ball up to my forwards.”
Shorewood (13-1-1, Wesco South) also won a majority of the balls out of the air and that proved to be a key difference in the game.
Things looked good early for Jackson, which struck first in the third minute. Forward Tye Hastings streaked down the field after a long ball from midfielder Alex Taylor.
Hastings beat the defense and fired a shot from 15 yards out that found the upper-right corner of the net.
“Panic didn’t really set in when that happened. It was so early on,” Weber said.
“We came out a little flat, but we got our marks picked up and figured it out,” defender Stefano Johnson added.
In the 13th minute, Shorewood evened up the score. Forward Safaa Al-Jelaihawi collected a ball that popped off the foot off Regan and knocked a shot into a goal from 15 yards out.
“The keeper was coming for it and I put my foot up and tried to poke it out of his direction and it went right to Safaa,” Regan said.
Despite the early goal, Shorewood didn’t fall apart like it did in the first meeting.
“I was surprised, they stayed pretty calm. I thought for sure if we scored quick, they’d lose a lot of momentum,” Jackson coach Brett Norton said. “That’s what happened the first time we played them, we scored in the first 10 minutes and they just died. The opposite happened. We died and they got energized.”
Jackson (10-4-1) clinched the second seed to the 4A District 1 playoffs.
Shorewood has scored 40 goals and allowed 10 this season, while Jackson has scored 26 and allowed 14.
One of Shorewood’s starting midfielders Alex Bresnan did not play because of an ankle injury he suffered in practice on Monday.
Jackson defender Guy Shively is likely out for the season with a small fracture in his right ankle, Norton said.