The Aberdeen Bobcats battled tooth-and-nail in their regional-round game of the 2A State Tournament, tying the Liberty Patriots at 1-1 after the end of extra-time.
But the Bobcats saw its dreams of state glory come to an end in the shootout, falling 3-0 on penalty kicks on Wednesday at Liberty High School.
Aberdeen (13-5-1 overall) got off to another slow start after the Patriots (10-7-2) scored just five minutes into the contest.
But the Bobcats settled and goal keeper Luis Soto made key some key saves to keep the deficit at 1-0 at halftime.
Aberdeen, which surrendered much of the possession time to Liberty, found success on a counter-attack in the 51st minute. Rigo Alavez sent a long ball forward to Enrique Cuevas, who got past the Patriots defense and whipped a shot to the far post, beating the keeper from 18-yards out to tie the game at 1-1.
With the game tied after a full 80 minutes and two overtime periods, Aberdeen and Liberty went to a penatly-kick shootout to determine a winner.
But Aberdeen was unable to score as the Bobcats’ first three shots were blocked while the Patriots converted its first three attempts, ending Aberdeen’s season.
Liberty outshot Aberdeen, 17-3 in the contest. Bobcats head coach Larry Fleming was quick to commend his keeper, Luis Soto, who recorded 16 saves in the contest, and 2A Evergreen League Defensive MVP Christian Sanchez for playing “outstanding” in the final games of their prep careers.
Fleming then reflected on the season and those who helped make it possible.
“I’m so proud of the effort of our boys and the way they finished out the season. We played outstanding soccer the second half of our schedule and were just a few penalties away from advancing to the next round of state,” he said. “The Bobcats would like to thank all of the parents, fans and sponsors that helped make this season such a success.”
Aberdeen 0 1 — 1
Liberty 1 0 — 1
(Liberty wins on penalty kicks, 3-0)
Top Players: Aberdeen — Cuevas (G, 51st minute); Alavez (A); Soto (16 SV)
1B District II/IV Tournament
Taholah 8, Rainier Christian 7
The Taholah Chitwhins advanced to the district semifinals and secured a spot in the state tournament with an 8-7 victory over Rainier Christian in the 1B District II/IV Tournament on Tuesday in Renton.
Taholah’s Chastity Seymour earned the victory for the Chitwhins while Jazmine Flores-Buck and Teresa Billie powered Taholah’s offense, with Billie hitting a home run in the game.
Chitwhins head coach Jinny Marchand was proud of what her team accomplished with the victory.
“We are extremely excited for this opportunity. We have six seniors this year, so it is incredible knowing that they get to have this experience,” she said. “I’m very proud of them and of all the girls on the team.”
With the recent weather causing rain delays on Thursday, tournament officials decided that the remaining teams will advance to the district championship and third-place games based on seeding.
Nasalle plays Quilcene for the district title while Taholah faces Wishkah Valley for the district No. 3 spot. First pitch scheduled for 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds.