CAMAS — Camas forward Josh Tkachenko made his third goal of the boys soccer season count when it mattered most.
In fact, in his own words, his game-winning goal in Wednesday’s Class 4A first-round game against Sunnyside at Doc Harris Stadium wasn’t even the most beautiful of goals, he said.
It didn’t matter.
“But it’s the most important goal in my Camas High School career,” the junior said “and I’m really happy I can get that for my team.”
That’s because his golden-goal on a cross from Josh Schneider in the final minute of the second 5-minute overtime lifted the Papermakers to a 4-3 victory over the Grizzlies to send Camas to its first 4A state quarterfinal since 2014.
“That’s drama,” Camas coach Roland Minder said.
Now, Camas hits the road to face Central Valley of Spokane Valley at 1 p.m. Saturday at Spokane Falls Community College for a spot in next week’s state semifinals. Camas hasn’t reached that stage since winning the state title in 2011.
Early in Wednesday’s game, it looked like a flurry of goals might be needed to determine a winner. The match featured four ties and four lead changes.
Minder said his team had to adjust to Sunnyside’s style of play early on, noting its 3-5-2 formation isn’t seen much around Clark County.
“At first,” he said, “our centerbacks had to mark instead of play zone. We had to figure out their wings.”
After Danny Wing’s quick-strike goal two minutes in, Sunnyside responded with two goals in the next 11 minutes.
The shortest lead was when Sunnyside’s Gonzalo Frausto notched his second goal to make it a 3-2 Grizzlies lead in the 52nd minute; then came the game’s longest tie when Camas’ Toby Pizot hit the equalizer in the 56th minute, which tied the match 3-3.
And in no way were the Papermakers interested in a shootout. Especially against a Sunnyside team that’s in a Columbia Basin/Big Nine League that does shootouts in soccer. The 4A Greater St. Helens League does not.
And in Camas’ state seeding game against Olympia, it lost 2-1, falling 4-3 in shootout.
“We made up for it today by not going into it again,” Tkachenko said.
That didn’t mean Camas and Sunnyside didn’t have prime scoring chances in the final 20 minutes of regulation. They did, but couldn’t convert.
One of them was a deflection by Camas keeper Spencer Vela, one of his four saves on the night, stopping a would-be goal 20 yards out in the 62nd minute.