TONASKET – It’s one thing to play the part of the plucky underdog.
It’s quite another to be an up-and-coming team that others are starting to shoot for.
The Tonasket girls soccer team is taking no one by surprise this season. And if they thought that was going to be the case, the Tigers’ counterparts from Omak put those thoughts to rest on Tuesday, Sept. 18, with a victory in a penalty kick shootout that Tonasket didn’t see coming.
Tonasket coach Darren Collins wasn’t happy with his team’s energy level, particularly after the Tigers built a 2-0 halftime lead.
“It was like we got ahead and quit playing,” Collins said. “And once you get to penalty kicks you’re taking your chances.”
After playing to a 2-2 tie through regulation and two five-minute overtime periods, both teams hit just one of five penalty kicks. The Tigers were a bit unlucky with theirs as Alicia Edwards and Elizabeth Jackson’s shots hit the post and crossbar. Kathryn Cleman scored on hers, but Omak goalkeeper Makenzie Norwill stopped Kelly Cruz’s shot on the fifth attempt and, with the teams still tied after five kicks, stopped Myra Gaytan’s shot on the Tigers’ sixth kick.
Tonasket keeper Baylie Tyus also stopped two shots, while Omak kicked a pair wide. Haley Little scored on the Pioneer’s second shot and Shaylyn Goodall put away the game-winner on Omak’s sixth shot.
The game started well enough for the Tigers, who got on the board in the eighth minute on Kelly Cruz’s strike from the right side.
Tyus stopped an Omak penalty kick late in the first half to preserve the lead, which the Tigers doubled on Megan Beyers’ late goal, with Kathryn Cleman assisting.
Collins told his team to play like it was still 0-0 heading to the second half, but Omak got two quick scores from Abby Hale to tie it up.
The Tigers resorted to kick-and-chase on offense, while Omak forced Tyus to earn her keep in goal for the rest of the second half as Tonasket had to hold on just to force overtime.
Tyus finished with 12 saves.
“I’m not sure what happened,” Collins said. “We weren’t the team we were when we beat Quincy (three days earlier).”
The Tigers picked up one point in the CTL standings while Omak gained two. The Tigers fell to 2-2 overall (1-2, four points) while Omak improved to 2-3 (2-1, 6 points).