Knights end season with district loss | Boys soccer

By David Pan | May 16, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Noah Venditto (15) battles Jackson’s Adan Fernandez during a 4A District playoff game.

Kamiak experienced success against Lake Stevens during the regular season, posting 1-0 and 2-1 victories.

But beating the Vikings for a third time this season proved to be elusive for the Knights, who lost 1-0 in a loser-out 4A District boys soccer tournament game Thursday, May 10, at Goddard Stadium.

“It’s tough to beat a team three times,” Kamiak coach Kosta Pitharoulis said. “We couldn’t find the back of the net and they did. It was a well-fought game by both teams. Somebody had to come out the loser.”

The goal in the 55th minute was credited to Victor Vega, though Pitharoulis said that from his vantage point on the sidelines it appeared that the ball flicked off the head of one of Kamiak’s players for an own goal.

Kamiak (10-7-1) had opportunities throughout the contest but wasn’t able to cash in on them.

“We had some free kicks. We had corners. We had good long throw-ins,” Pitharoulis said. “We weren’t able to put it in the back of the net. At the end of the game we were pushing numbers, trying to get an equalizer. Sometimes you’ve got to be a little lucky.

“I think both teams played really well. What it comes down to is, I think, Lake Stevens created some chances. We came up a little short. We hit the post. We just couldn’t find it. We couldn’t connect on our opportunities.”

Pitharoulis noted this was the second straight year the Knights won 10 games or more. But the Knights were unable to replicate last year’s run to the state quarterfinals.

“We had lofty goals after last year’s state run,” Pitharoulis said. “But we weren’t able to capitalize on some of those games that we needed.”

Kamiak finished fifth in the Wesco 4A with a 7-6-1 record and would have had to win three games to advance to state as opposed to two games for the top two teams in the league.

Glacier Peak defeated Mount Vernon 3-0 in the district championship game and the Bulldogs rebounded to beat Lake Stevens 2-0 to secure the second berth to state. The Vikings prevailed twice during the regular season over Mount Vernon.

“The boys knew going in that the shortest route to state was first or second place in the league,” Pitharoulis said.

Kamiak opened district play with a 4-1 victory over Jackson in a loser-out game Tuesday, May 8, at Everett Memorial Stadium. The Timberwolves swept the season series, edging the Knights in a pair of 1-0 contests.

Kamiak came into the district tournament on a downward spiral, having lost four out of its last five games. The Knights were outscored 12-2 in their final two contests.

“We had some heart-to-heart talks and definitely had to readjust more so in our heads than our play,” Pitharoulis said. “It was more of a mental thing. The guys showed up and played their game.”

Junior forward Harrison Rohrbough scored three goals to lead the Knights. Junior midfielder Moises Gary had the other goal.

“We had two close games early on and we made some adjustments and the boys took this game to heart,” Pitharoulis said.

The Knights seized the momentum with two goals early in the first half and kept the pressure up in the second half.

“Early goals are huge. We had some opportunities even before that,” Pitharoulis said. “We missed some chances. It could have been maybe 6-1 at the end. I’m just really happy that we were able to finish the goals that we did. One of the problems during the season was we were having a tough time scoring in the run of play. So it was really nice to see that most of the goals came from the run of play.”

Kamiak graduates six seniors but will have plenty to build around next year with the return of Rohrbough and sophomore goalkeeper Connor Bourne.

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