Kamiak drops district playoff game in double overtime | Girls soccer

Knights are not able to generate any offense against Inglemoor in loser-out contest
By David Pan | Oct 31, 2018
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak’s Eva Alibejsi brings the ball up the field against Inglemoor during a 4A District game Saturday, Oct. 27, at Kamiak High School.

A game that appeared to be headed to penalty kicks instead ended abruptly for Kamiak.

Senior Kendal Bendler scored with 3:32 left in the second overtime period to propel Inglemoor to a 1-0 victory over the Knights in a loser-out Wes-King 4A girls soccer district tournament game Saturday, Oct. 27, at Kamiak High School.

“They had a heck of a season and it was a hard-fought game,” first-year Kamiak coach Kosta Pitharoulis said. “Unfortunately, there is no easy way to lose a loser-out game. It wouldn’t have felt any better to potentially lose a shootout or a penalty kick kickoff.”

Bendler’s winning goal was launched from near the right corner sidelines. Pitharoulis wasn’t sure if it was a shot or a pass.

“It was pretty far out there, pretty fortunate,” he said. “I think most players are crossing the ball and it happened to go in. I don’t know if she was intending to shoot it or cross it. But at the end of the day, it doesn’t necessarily matter.”

Kamiak (9-7-1) had its best scoring opportunity in the first overtime when the Knights came out aggressively against the Vikings. But Eva Alibejsi’s shot was saved by the Inglemoor goalkeeper.

“It was a great opportunity and a great save by the goalkeeper,” Pitharoulis said. “I think sometimes you get so amped up and maybe we lost a little in the second overtime. It happens sometimes. It’s not anybody’s fault. … Those things happen. It was a fortunate shot that went in or a fortunate cross that went in however you look at it.

“I don’t know that any particular team deserved to win more than the other. It was a good battle and unfortunately, it has to end somehow.”

The loss overshadowed strong play by sophomore goalkeepers Hayley Gallaher and Katelyn Bundy, who split time in goal due to the loss of starting goalkeeper Stephanie Roestel. The junior goalie was injured during warm-ups of the final regular season game against Mount Vernon.

“We had two players that have played some varsity this year, but they’re swing players,” Pitharoulis said. “I thought they stepped up and did an amazing job.”

The two had a lot of help from senior captain Liz Thayer, who was shifted to the defense.,

“Liz has done an amazing job all season,” Pitharoulis said. “We’ve had some injuries and some things to overcome as a team. She’s been asked to do a multitude of things and done a really nice job of trying to do everything as well as she can. She’s a great player and an awesome captain. So it’s been tough to stick her back there. It is what it is. You have to make it work.”

Pitharoulis also was pleased with the play of freshman Sorrelle Robinson, who made her varsity debut in Saturday’s contest.

“She did a fantastic job in her first varsity game,” Pitharoulis said.

The Knights didn’t appear as sharp as they have been this season in the first 80 minutes of regulation play. Kamiak had problems possessing the ball.

“It was a little sloppy at times with us,” Pitharoulis said. “It was unfortunate we couldn’t have it at our feet and play the kind of soccer that we’ve been playing the majority of the season. I don’t think it was necessarily anything that Inglemoor was doing. We had some self-inflicted issues and problems that we were causing ourselves.”

When the passing didn’t seem to be working out, the Knights resorted to “kicking it and hoping it gets somewhere,” Pitharoulis added.

It didn’t help that the Vikings (5-5-4) also were the far more physical team and often were pushing the Knights around.

“We just aren’t a very physical team, “Pitharoulis said. “We can’t flip a switch and all of a sudden be physical. When it comes to districts and state … sometimes it is the more physical team that wins out of sheer desire and physicality. We are maybe learning to be that team, but it’s also it’s just not in our current makeup necessarily.”

Kamiak graduates only five seniors and returns all three goalkeepers, forwards Anna Lau and Abby Kyles and midfielder Makila Wiley.

“It was a fantastic first season,” Pitharoulis said. “I’m looking forward to working with the majority of these girls again. The future looks bright.”

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