Knights’ postseason run cut short by Inglemoor, fatigue | Boys soccer

By David Pan | May 08, 2019
Photo by: David R Pan Kamiak's Charlie Soukup goes up for a header during a Wesco 4A tiebreaker game against Mariner Friday, May 3, at Goddard Stadium.

In the end, missed opportunities turned out to be extremely costly for Kamiak.

Playing their third game in as many days, the Knights saw their season come to a disappointing end with a 3-2 overtime defeat to Inglemoor in a loser-out Wes-King 4A District boys soccer tournament game Saturday, May 4, at Kamiak High School.

After handing league champion Jackson its one and only loss of the season on Tuesday, April 30, the Knights were in a position to secure the league’s No. 2 berth and earn a first round bye.

But Mount Vernon edged Kamiak 1-0 on Thursday, May 2, which meant that Knights and district rival Mariner finished in a tie for second place. The two teams squared off in a tiebreaker contest on Friday, May 3, that saw neither team score in two 20-minute halves and two five-minute overtime periods. In the ensuing shootout, the Marauders emerged with the victory, after successful scoring on all five of their shot attempts, while the Knights connected on four of their five attempts.

The loss sent Kamiak (9-9-1) into Saturday’s contest against an Inglemoor squad whose only game of last week was a 3-0 victory over Woodinville on Wednesday, May 1.

“The boys were definitely tired,” Kamiak coach Kosta Pitharoulis said. “They had mentioned how sore their legs were.”

Had Kamiak won or even come out with a tie against the Bulldogs, the Knights would have had enough points to wrap up second place in the league.

“We had opportunities to win that game or at least tie,” Pitharoulis said.

The same could be said of Friday’s shortened game against Mariner.

“When it came to that mini-game, we had opportunities to win that in regulation,” the Kamiak coach said. “Their goalkeeper (Ebou Barrow) came up huge a few times.”

Despite their fatigue, the Knights started out strong against the Vikings, taking a 1-0 lead on a goal by senior Noah Venditto. The Knights held on to that lead into the second half when Inglemoor’s Nicholas Grottle scored back-to-back goals in the 53rd and 54th minute.

“Even though they were tired and spent physically and mentally, the boys actually really put their best foot forward,” Pitharoulis said. “I was not disappointed with the effort.”

Kamiak junior Jungmin Hwang tied the score at 2 in the 68th minute and eventually the two teams headed for overtime. Timur Akemir scored three minutes in to give Inglemoor the victory.

“Unfortunately, we kind of ran out of gas,” Pitharoulis said. “At this time of the year, you’ve got to be a little bit good and you’ve got to be a little bit lucky. We were good. We were not lucky. That kind of played out during the last few games.”

Pitharoulis describe the final week of the regular season both physically and mentally taxing. Starting with Tuesday’s final regular season home game against Jackson, the Knights played four tough games in five days.

“We put ourselves in that situation,” he said. “Maybe there was a game or two we should have won and we didn’t. We had to deal with the hand that we were dealt.”

The Knights graduate 10 seniors, about half of whom were starting by the end of the season.

“This group of kids were a great joy to coach,” Pitharoulis said. “A lot of guys will be coming back. They’ll learn from the circumstances and better from it. The future still looks bright for the program.”

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