Booted out in a shootout

They agreed it was their top performance of the season.

They agreed it was their top performance of the season.

But even that wasn’t enough to help Auburn Riverside come out on top in their Class 3A state boys soccer tournament opener.

The Ravens dropped behind, roared back to take the lead, but ultimately fell to Shorecrest in a penalty kick shootout on Tuesday night at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, 3-2.

The Scots won the shootout, 5-4, after 80 minutes of regulation and a pair of five-minute overtimes wound up deadlocked at 2-2.

“That was probably one of the best games and one of the best teams we’ve played this whole year,” said Ravens junior Oscar Diaz, who scored both Riverside goals during an eight-minute span of the second half. “We played to our potential. We started out a little separate (at the beginning of the season), but we grew together as a family.

“We showed it tonight, but we came up short.”

The Ravens brought a 16-game unbeaten streak into their state opener, not having lost since Federal Way pulled out a 2-1 nonleague decision in the second game of the spring. Riverside wound up with a 15-2-2 mark, andabsorbed its second straight first-round heartbreaker, having fallen to Newport in the final minutes last year, 3-2.

“It’s all too familiar,” coach Robyn Saarenas lamented. “It was a hard-fought game. The kids played well and they showed a lot of heart tonight.

“That’s certainly not the way I like to lose game,” Saarenas added. “I think that was the best team we’ve played.”

Shorecrest (17-4-0) carried the attack for a good chunk of the first half, although the Ravens certainly weren’t without their chances. One shot by the Scots clanged off the right post in the 18th minute, and AR’s Matt Zeman, after a nice individual effort to work his way around a defender at the top of the penalty area, dribbled toward the front porch of goalkeeper Andrew McDonald, only to see McDonald make the save.

Shorecrest got onto the board with just 2:05 left in the first half. Mickey Crudo, positioned 16 yards up from the goal line on the right wing side, drove a free kick into a goalmouth traffic jam in the box that ricocheted hard off a Ravens defender and zinged into the back right corner for an own goal.

“It was a well-placed shot. That’s the nature of free kicks,” Saarenas said. “If you can drive it in and get a defender on the wrong side of the ball, it goes the wrong way.”

The Ravens got the momentum going their way early in the second half, taking the attack to the Scots from the opening whistle.

That yielded results at the 50:16 mark. Shane Gutierrez, driving the ball deep into Shorecrest territory down the left wing, was slowed when a Scots player tugged him by the shirt. The foul was whistled immediately, giving the Ravens a free kick that was virtually the equivalent of a corner kick, so close was it to the left quadrant.

Gutierrez floated it toward the near post, and Diaz went up for the header that tied the game.

Not quite eight minutes later, the Ravens went in front. Matt Zeman took a shot that McDonald saved at the left post, but couldn’t corral. The rebound came right out to Diaz, on top of McDonald’s front porch, and Diaz drilled it in at 58:06 for a 2-1 lead.

“We’ve always come back. We never put our heads down,” Diaz said.

The lead lasted until Shorecrest’s Josh Rudnick got the ball behind the Riverside defense, broke into the top left side of the box all alone and, with goalkeeper Derek Hawn coming out to cut down the angle, Rudnick planted a shot in the back right corner at 69:15.

McDonald came up big one more time. With Haller leading off the shootout, McDonald dove to his left to save the shot. The other nine PKs – all five by Shorecrest and the next four by Auburn Riverside – went into the net.

“We played the best we could. We lost to a better side,” said Haller, a senior who will continue his career at Gonzaga. “We just made a couple errors in the back.

“It’s not a good way to end,” Haller added. “But we played well.”

Shorewood 2, Jefferson 1 (SO)

Different classification, same scenario: A Shoreline-area team knocked out an Auburn side, as the Thunderbirds beat the Raiders in PKs in the first round of the Class 4A state tournament.

Regulation time ended at 1-1, and two OTs failed to resolve it.

Shorewood prevailed in an unusually low-scoring shootout, 2-1. Amos Nistrian was the only TJ player to convert.

The Thunderbirds took a 1-0 lead in the 24th minute. Jefferson tied it nine minutes later on a goal by DJ DeWaele.

The Raiders finished at 10-5-4.