St. Helens ties the game with a tick of the clock left, but short on PKs

by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens' Stevie S'rawn got a yellow card for taking out Putnam's Rachel Baker on this play. The Lions lost to Putnam, 2-0.It looked like the Lady Lions soccer season would end with a 1-0 loss to West Albany, but St. Helens knotted the contest with a single tick left on the clock, and eventually the game would come down to penalty kicks.

The No. 19-ranked Lady Lions (7-5-2) travelled to play the No. 14 West Albany Bulldogs (7-5-1) last Thursday.

The game was scoreless at halftime, but West Albany netted a goal 10 minutes into the second half.

“It was crazy,” St. Helens Coach Simon Date said. “It came down to the last kick of the game with the clock signaling just 1.5 seconds left. Sydney Nett put in the goal with an assist from Stevie Strawn. She got a foot on it and I don’t know how the heck it went in.”

The two teams then played two 10-minute halves and the score was still tied 1-1. The OT periods are not sudden death, but the penalty kicks that followed were.

“We went eight rounds of penalty kicks,” Date said. “We missed our eighth kick and they scored and they won. All it took was one kick of the ball.”

Oddly, Date said the Lady Lions had practiced penalty kicks for just such a scenario to give them a break from a tedious practice.

“I was talking with their coach Eric (Ihde) before we started the kicks and said this was a nightmare way to decide a game. I’m not complaining about the format, but it frustrates me. Everyone keeps asking who missed the kick. We went as a team and we lose as a team,” Date said.

Under the format, each coach had five players kick. If it’s still tied it goes to sixth, seventh, eighth, etc. players—all the way through to 11. Date said both teams missed on the sixth kick. It was one of his younger players that missed on the eighth kick.

The loss kept St. Helens out of the 5A state playoffs.

“It was sort of a bittersweet season,” Date said. “Obviously it was good to know you’ve gone from 1-14 to 7-5-2, but at the same time the competitive side of me wanted us to make that goal to make the playoffs. The seniors will go out without ever having made the playoffs. They deserve it and for but one kick of the ball we might have made it.”

St. Helens also had a game just two days earlier in the week, losing to Rex Putnam, 2-0.

It was a muddy, rainy night and the first goal against the Lady Lions came when the ball slipped into the goal. Later, Putnam was given a penalty kick and they brought in their goalie, 6-foot, 5-inch Shayla Laurendeau, who drilled it home.

“I got a memo from their coach saying their senior goalkeeper had never scored. That was her last kick and last chance for such a thing. I think it was really kind of cool,” Date said.

St. Helens had several chances to score in the match, but couldn’t quite connect. The field wassomething of a mud bog. Date noted that the Lady Lions will lose quite a few seniors this year, but also have a large contingent of freshmen coming in.

“It was pretty impressive how they did this year,” he said, “but at the same time everyone will be missing all those seniors.”

Date said he was working on getting his players tryouts with several club teams in the Portland area. He noted Ashley Giesbers has Division 1 soccer aspirations. and will be trying out for a team, She scored 21 goals for the Lady Lions this year. He said there were 5-6 freshmen that could also play high level ball.

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