TUKWILA — Seconds away from the game going to a decisive penalty-kick shootout, Peninsula’ College’s shot at a repeat NWAC Women’s Soccer Championship was snatched away in stoppage time in a 1-0 double overtime loss to the Highline Thunderbirds on Sunday at Starfire Sports Complex.
The winning strike came after the Pirates had just missed out on their own opportunity to claim the game when North Region MVP Sam Oliveira slipped behind West Region MVP Hannah Jenkins in the goal box and gathered in a cross from Krysten McGuffey.
With her back to the goal, Oliveira tried to turn with the ball, but couldn’t gain full possession.
Thunderbirds goalkeeper Kate Nelson dove for the loose ball, finally corralling it after it trickled between her legs.
Nelson’s goal kick was played forward by Peninsula’s Toni Powsey and intercepted by Highline’s Cassidy O’Dell, with the ball then pin-balling forward to the T-Birds Hannah Anderson on the right side of the goal box.
Anderson won the second touch on the ball and found Sophia Leer with a pass at the top of the box between four Pirate defenders. Leer dribbled and scored to the far left post from just behind the penalty spot past on-rushing Peninsula goalkeeper Andrea Kenagy.
The strike was an improbable goal with Anderson and Leer going two-on-five against the heart of the Pirates’ defense. And it eliminated Peninsula’s shot at winning in a shootout — and came just minutes after the T-Birds’ second-leading scorer Rayna Santiago was carried off the field after suffering a lower leg injury.
Three other missed scoring opportunities in overtime may haunt the Pirates.
Jenkins flubbed a throw-in deep in Highline’s half of the field and Peninsula pounced, moving toward the goal before a T-Birds foul gave the Pirates a free kick from around 35 yards out. Oliveira’s attempt went high over the bar in the 6th minute of the first overtime.
A Powsey clearance found an on-running Oliveira for a breakaway but Jenkins ran down Oliveira from behind and risking the penalty — cleared the ball away from danger.
Early in the second overtime, Miya Clark made a great run with the ball along the right side, getting the corner against T-Birds defender and sending a cross into the goal box that Oliveira sent high over the bar on a first-time touch.