McMinnville shuts out Sunset in PKs and ends the Metro champs' stellar season
MCMINNVILLE - Saturday's lousy weather was the perfect, but unwelcome, companion to the mood of the Sunset boys soccer team as it walked off the field at McMinnville High School following the end of the two teams' Class 6A state quarterfinal.
And lousy is likely an understatement for how the Apollos felt after they saw the best Sunset season since 1991 come to an end in a penalty-kick shootout with the Grizzlies winning in the shootout 2-0.
It was a 'crazy game,' said Sunset coach Joe Wentworth, whose team became the first Apollo squad to win a Metro title since '91. The 'weather was horrible with the rain blowing sideways. Whoever got the wind dominated play as the ball would get caught up and blow backwards.'
Regulation play ended at 0-0, and neither team made any headway in the 20-minute overtime period either, so after 100 minutes of scoreless soccer, the game advanced to penalty kicks.
There, with some 1,000 McMinnville students roaring on every kick, the Grizzlies finally took the upper hand.
'In the end, their crowd made a difference during PK's,' Wentworth said. It 'put the boys shooting under a ton of pressure. It looked like a Friday night football game instead of a soccer match. It was so loud, you couldn't hear the whistle blow.'
Sunset keeper James Nielsen, who made several outstanding stop prior to the penalty kick round, did his part again there, limiting the Grizzlies to just two makes, by Dustin Munger and Pico Rubio.
The Apollos, however, went scoreless in the shootout against Grizzly goalkeeper Ryan Aker, with Oliver and Henry King both shooting high, Paco Thomas hitting the crossbar and Carlos Calvo getting blocked.
'The game was amazing and fast-paced,' Wentworth said. 'Both teams created chances and both keepers came up big - they were both the best players on the field.'
The loss ended Sunset's nine-game winning streak and stopped their season at 13-3-1. McMinnville, the Pacific Conference champion, improved to 14-2-1 and advanced to a Tuesday semifinal against Westview.