While Kamiak’s players slapped hands, hugged and even did a few flips, the Mead boys sulked on their bench at Joe Albi Stadium.
A few yards away and moments after his penalty kick had clanged off the right post, junior Jay Jansen paced alone.
“We were playing together, connecting passes, playing like we should play,” said senior Chance Johnstone, Jansen’s teammate.
Then, apparently at ease with their two-goal advantage, they let up, Johnstone said. And the Knights noticed.
Kamiak scored twice in the final 3 minutes of regulation to tie the game at 4 and then won on penalty kicks 5-4 to stun Mead on Tuesday in the first round of the State 4A boys soccer tournament.
In the second round, Kamiak will meet Pasco, a 5-0 winner over Lewis and Clark, on Saturday. Mead and LC’s seasons are over.
“Everyone’s trying to point fingers at each other, but as a team, we know we can play better,” Johnstone said. “It’s the feeling that we know we could’ve done better.”
Before Tuesday, Mead (13-3) had allowed just eight goals this season and never more than two in a single contest. But that didn’t faze the Knights (11-8), who scored twice in the game’s first 16 minutes to take an early 2-1 lead.
That was with the wind at Kamiak’s back, however.
“The wind played a pretty big role in how the game played out,” Mead coach Matt Stueckle said. “In the first half, they put us under a lot of pressure.”
When the teams swapped sides, the momentum also flipped, and Mead became the aggressor.
Johnstone’s free kick from 20 yards out tied the game at 2 in the 47th minute, and the Panthers added goals by Nick Hamer (52nd minute) and Jordan Etten (69th) to take a commanding 4-2 lead. It prompted Stueckle to shift his team into a more defensive formation.
But the change to a 4-4-2 didn’t work as planned.
First, Brian Bae squirted a loose ball past Mead sophomore keeper Curtis Hill in the 78th minute. Then, on the last attack of regulation, Bryton Reim crossed a pass to junior Tyler Hawkinson, who lofted a header over a charging Hill to tie the game.
“He’s been big for us all season,” Kamiak coach Garfield Scott said of Hawkinson. “He just stepped up.”
After 10 scoreless minutes of overtime – at the end of which Hill made a pair of saves to preserve Mead’s chances – the teams traded made penalty kicks before Jansen’s final attempt caught the right post.
•Pasco 5, Lewis and Clark 0: Twenty minutes into the match, the host Bulldogs led 2-0.
The Bulldogs added three second-half goals. Pasco outshot the Tigers (11-5) 18-12.
•State 2A: Great Northern League entrants Medical Lake and Cheney survived tight first-round matches.
Visiting Medical Lake edged Toppenish 1-0 and Cheney held off visiting Ridgefield 1-0.
Cheney stays at home to play the Sequim/Bellingham winner Saturday, while Medical Lake travels to the Prosser/Quincy winner, also Saturday.
Bryce Parkinson of Cheney headed in a corner kick by Jacob Mager in the 49th minute, while John Daniels scored for Medical Lake on a breakaway in the 10th minute.