From desperation, to relief, to heartbreak.
The Squalicum boys’ soccer team went through quite a roller coaster in its 2-1 overtime loss to Shorecrest in the Class 2A Northwest District Tournament on Thursday, May 14, at Sedro-Woolley High School.
After allowing a goal in the 62nd minute, the Storm went into full-on attack mode, sending men forward at every chance, sliding for balls and giving it everything they had.
It looked as if time had run out on Squalicum’s season, though. Nothing was coming off the efforts and the referee had already yelled out that there would be an additional five minutes of stoppage time.
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With the clock already stopped at 2 minutes, there was no telling how much of that extra time remained. Only seconds, it had to be.
Every long ball played by the Storm and clearing by the Scots, the light got dimmer.
It wasn’t until a booted ball from the Storm defense was flicked on by Eli Guidroz, finding Ben Peterson with nobody to beat but the goalkeeper that Squalicum received its chance.
He tapped it by the charging goalie, and it narrowly slid inside the post. The Storm had tied it up.
“That last part of regulation time when we got the equalizer, it wasn’t our cleanest, best soccer but they just played with so much heart,” Squalicum coach Joe McAuliffe said.
Surely, it would be enough momentum in overtime.
Shorecrest had other ideas.
With the Storm still over-excited from playing for its life for 20 minutes and finding a buoy in the dying seconds, the Scots controlled play for much of the extra periods.
And with just 3 minutes remaining until a shootout, Shorecrest launched a cross in from the wing. It was a beauty.
But every perfect cross needs a perfect finish and the Scots had it Thursday night, heading it into the back of the net, as green-and-white elation followed.
“It’s just frustrating,” McAuliffe said. “We played well, well enough to win. We had some great chances that, had we put them away in the first half, it might have been a different story.”
Peterson was on the end of a lot of those chances, as he used his speed and creativity to challenge the Scots’ defense.
“He’s such an athlete. You can stop him once or twice but in five challenges, he’s going to come out ahead in most of them,” McAuliffe said. “I think everybody sensed that that desperation time, he’s the go-to guy, too.”
While Squalicum usually dominates possession, the Scots held their own and the play was much more back-and-forth than the typical Storm game.
In the 62nd minute, the Scots used a long free throw to find the feet of Haitem Moussaddak, who pounded it past a flurry of Storm defenders and the keeper.
“Shorecrest is a quality side. It was two really good teams battling it out,” McAuliffe said. “It’s a shame we’re both in this place for a loser-out. I would have liked to see these teams in the district championship and then the state championship, but one of us had to go.”
“The future looks favorable. We are losing some really good, quality seniors, who were great leaders and excellent players,” McAuliffe said. “But it’s always interesting to see who steps up. This sophomore class is very good. We got some strong juniors and some young players coming up, too. We’ll be contenders for awhile.”
Shorecrest 2, Squalicum 1 (OT)
Goal: Haitem Moussaddak (Shorecrest), assist: Alex Day, time: 62; Goal: Ben Peterson (Squalicum), assist: Eli Guidroz, time: 80; Goal: n/a, time: 87. Goalies (saves) — Squalicum: Owen Davis-Bower (4); Shorecrest: Matt Wheaton (7). Shots on goal — Squalicum 8, Shorecrest 6.
Credit for assist on Storm's goal corrected to Eli Guidroz on May 15, 2015.