Wildcat fans held hands anxiously as what would be the final Sehome player stepped up to shoot. Freshman goal keeper Daniel Mycroft ritualistically walked around the goal and kicked each post before planting himself in the middle. The ball was set.
The Archbishop Murphy Wildcats faced off against the Sehome Mariners in tonight’s 2A state semi-final. Tied until the sixth set of shootout PKs, the Wildcats managed to win off an amazing save by Mycroft. Some WIAA officials were heard after the game saying that, “This was the championship.” And let me tell you, it sure felt like it.
The wind blew hard against Archbishop Murphy for the entire first half. You could tell from the start it was going to be a long game. With 13 minutes left in the first half, the Mariners had two consecutive penalty kicks outside the 18 yard line, the first saved by Mycroft and the second headed away by junior Diego Rios. The score was 0-0 at halftime.
In the second half, Mycroft had the ball illegally batted out of his hands by Sehome and the Wildcats were given a goal kick (’65). Two minutes later, a shot richocheted off the post a couple times, with kicks coming from both Rios and a Sehome player, until Mycroft fell on the ball. Gabe Weight (#15, Sehome) received the only yellow card of the game after fouling forward Matt Williams (’75). Later, Weight left the game with a shoulder injury. Regulation ended in a 0-0 tie.
WIAA rules state that in the case of a tie, two 5 minute overtime periods will be played until one team scores a “golden goal”. After that, it goes to a shootout.
Both teams came out strong for the first overtime period, the Wildcats mainly on defense against a powerful Sehome. With 38 seconds left, an Archbishop Murphy foul gave the Mariners a penalty kick, just around the 18 yard line. The shot was missed and a corner kick followed. Period one of overtime ended.
The ball bounced around both sides of the field during the second overtime as Wildcat fans prayed a goal would end the game before a shootout. It didn’t.
The coaches selected their players, and they stood at midfield, anticipating their turn to possibly win the game for their team. Rios started the Wildcat lineup off strong, netting our first goal. Mycroft stepped up next to defend, successfully blocking Sehome’s first attempt. Williams and Noah Byford (#16, Sehome) made the next two goals, bringing the score to 2-1. A shot by junior Jake Snider hit the post; Mason Rathkamp (#10, Sehome) sunk another goal. 2-2. Jensen Crisler and Parker Buchanan, both captains, tacked on a point each to the score. Kevin Sun and Kiefer Thomas (#12, #14) did the same. 4-4. Mitchell Lovell stepped up next, and although his goal was deflected at first by Sehome goalkeeper, it went in. 5-4. All Mycroft had to do was make this save and Archbishop Murphy would be sent to the state championship for the second year in a row.
The Archbishop Murphy Wildcats are going back folks. Thanks to a strong team and a phenomenal showing by freshman goalkeeper Daniel Mycroft, they Wildcats are going back to the 2A State Boys Soccer Championship.
Sophomore Sam Johnson was awarded post-game for his sportsmanship on the field.
Tomorrow at 5pm they will face off against either Quincy or Lindbergh at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium in Sumner.