LAKEWOOD, Wash. – Sarah Berentson stood over the ball and looked down at her gimpy right knee. The situation was simple: Make the penalty kick, win the game and put Burlington-Edison in today’s State 2A soccer championship, or miss it, and perhaps see her high school career end against the West Valley Eagles.
Berentson never flinched, coolly booting a tough shot to the right corner of the net, breaking a 3-3 deadlock on the final kick of a shootout, and giving a Burlington-Edison a 1-0 win over WV Friday at Harry Lang Stadium.
“There was a little doubt in my mind. I was a little worried how my knee would hold up” said Berentson, who was sporting a hefty knee brace because of a torn MCL suffered in a win over Pullman. “But I’ve been in that position before.”
Indeed, Berentson beat Fife – the Tigers’ opponent in today’s 2A title game – with the game-winner in a shootout at Harry Lang as a junior.
After Berentson’s right-footed shot glanced off the hands of WV diving goaltender Karina Carpenter and into the back of the net, she was mobbed by her teammates in celebration.
“It was a sense of total relief,” Berentson said. “I never wanted to let my teammates down. If I miss that kick, it’s going to crush them.”
Instead, it was the Eagles who wore the look of crushing disappointment. What hurt a little worse is that it seemed early in the shootout that WV would win.
The Eagles went first in the shootout and grabbed a 2-1 lead as Kayla Courchaine and Laura Estey scored easy goals on B-E keeper Michelle Wesen. The one-goal lead looked even stronger as the Tigers’ top goal scorer, Keri Arendse, hit the crossbar on her attempt at a tying shot.
“We’re up 2-1 with our third shooter in and we’re looking pretty good,” said WV coach Shelli Totton.
But Missy Carey’s shot to go up 3-1 sailed over the crossbar. Burlington-Edison tied the shootout 2-2 with a goal from Alex Kinney. The teams traded goals as Savannah Atabelo scored for WV and Lindsey Loving found the net for Burlington-Edison to leave it at 3-3.
The Eagles’ last kick, a tough shot from DeeDee Garbe, appeared certain to be a goal, but Wesen made an almost impossible stop, laying out and getting both hands on the ball to swat it away, setting up Berentson’s heroics.
As elated as Burlington-Edison coach Jay Powers was for the win, he still hated how the game ended – with a shootout.
“You know both of these teams played so hard and to end that way is just unfair,” he said.
But it wasn’t as though either team was without chances. Burlington-Edison saw first hand why Carpenter and the stingy Eagles hadn’t allowed a goal in over four weeks. The handful of shots were either stopped or swatted away.
“Their keeper was great,” Powers said. “And they shut down our corner kicks.”
WV didn’t have quite as many scoring opportunities as B-E, but the Eagles did have a few that came up short.
“We had our chances,” Totton lamented.
Now the Eagles must find a way to forget the heartbreak and face an Archbishop Murphy squad that was upset in the other semifinal with third on the line.
“I really think we could have and should have won this game,” Totton said. “Now we see what kind of character we have. I think we have enough to come out and prove that they should be in that 4 p.m. (championship) game.”
Boys State 2B/1B
Derek Delematter and Jared Friedly scored first-half goals to lead Northwest Christian to a 2-0 win over St. George’s in a semifinal game at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner, Wash.
Graham had eight saves to preserve the shutout for the Crusaders (11-5), who beat the Dragons (14-3) for the first time in four tries this season, losing the previous three in shootouts.
NWC advances to play Shoreline Christian today at 4 p.m. for the state title. Shoreline Christian defeated Bear Creek 2-1 in the other semifinal.
St. George’s will play Bear Creek at noon for third and fourth places.