SUMNER, Wash. – It took overtime, but the itch has finally been scratched for the Cheney boys soccer team.
Ian Scimandle scored 3 1/2 minutes into overtime to power the Blackhawks to a 2-1 victory over Tyee in the finals of the State 2A soccer tournament Saturday at Sunset Chevrolet Stadium.
Cheney (20-2) had lost four out of the last five state championship matches, including last year when the Blackhawks dropped a 3-1 decision to Fife.
“All my brothers and friends have gone through this program. We all know what second place feels like,” said junior Micah Weller. “Now we know what first feels like.”
Weller, who started on last year’s second-place squad, assisted on the game-winner and scored in the 30th minute to tie the contest.
“I cried a lot last year after the loss,” Weller said, “but I think I’ve actually cried more this year. It just feels amazing.”
Scimandle scored the game-winning goal from 4 yards out, taking a perfectly-placed pass from Weller after outracing a Tyee defender to get to the front of the net.
“I actually thought he was going to feed Trevan (Estrellado) on the play,” Scimandle said. “Micah made a great pass. I just feel very fortunate to be able to score on it. All those times finishing second and finally we win one. Best feeling in the world.”
Scimandle followed up his goal with a backflip before being swarmed by his teammates.
“Last year’s bus ride back home was really long,” Scimandle said. “I don’t think it will feel as long this year.”
The start of the second half was delayed approximately 20 minutes after Tyee coaches protested Cheney’s lone goal in the first half.
Trailing 1-0, the Blackhawks tied the match on Weller’s goal in the 30th minute.
The score came after Weller took a throw-in from midfield and dribbled downfield while Tyee defenders stood by and watched, believing play had been frozen.
With no opposition, Weller scored from 20 yards out.
A meeting between both coaches and tournament officials took place on the field prior to the start of the second half after Tyee coach Allen Rider issued a formal protest, declaring the referees were unclear with his players on whether or not play had began.
The goal ultimately was upheld.
Tyee, which had not made the state playoffs since 1982 and was playing in its first title game, had to go with its backup goalkeeper in freshman Alan Mora after starter Carlos Reyes suffered a broken nose and a pulled hamstring in the Totems’ 1-0 shootout victory over Sedro-Woolley in Friday’s semifinals.
Cheney managed just nine shots with two being on goal – both found the back of the net.
The Totems broke up the scoreless tie when Jose Aguiniga fed Liam Maginniss, who fired from 20 yards out and beat Cheney goalie Joe Scott at the 13th minute.