The sun was baking the artificial turf in Albi Stadium at high noon on Sunday, but Jack Swanson was cool.
That’s about as big a compliment as there could be after his soccer team lost a controversial shootout moments earlier in a single elimination tournament.
The Spokane Shadow stayed alive in the USISL Premier League Northwest Division tournament when Joe Ascolese blasted a shot through the legs of Bellingham Orcas goalkeeper Travers Enslow and then Spokane keeper Pete van de Ven foiled Scot Swanson.
“They won the game the way the rules were established,” Swanson, the Orcas coach, said, without a hint of bitterness, even though he disagreed. “I thought we won the game yesterday. I know that sounds like sour grapes, but when the referees came back on the field, both teams had an opportunity to win the game and we won the game.”
Sunday’s six-shot shootout, witnessed by 455 curious fans, put Spokane in Sunday night’s championship game against Yakima.
Saturday night, the Shadow rallied from a 4-1 deficit to force overtime. No one connected in the 15-minute session, bringing about the original shootout. Each team had five chances, alternating shots.
Bellingham, going second, went ahead 1-0 when fourth shooter Greg St. Germain rolled the ball past van de Ven. Jeff Rose kept the Shadow alive by beating Enslow.
With a tie after five kickers, the shootout becomes sudden death.
Stuart Saunders was Spokane’s sixth shooter. His shot, which somehow ended up on the backside of the goal after being sent toward the top right corner, was ruled good, then no good, then good again. When van de Ven stopped Scot Swanson, the Shadow had an apparent victory.
After the teams left the field, the officials brought the teams back. Enslow stopped Ascolese and Kurt Swanson, Scot’s twin brother, scored for an apparent Orcas win.
Spokane protested, and late Saturday night, the league decided to replay the first shootout from the sixth shooters on.
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