The Mountain View boys soccer team won state titles in 1991 and 1992. But in 1993, the Thunder had a new coach and a largely new team. But they were still able to perform a three-peat with a win over Bellarmine Prep of Tacoma.
Mountain View would make a fourth consecutive trip to the state final in 1994 but fell short of a title.
This is the story of the Thunder’s third state-title victory in 1993.
TACOMA – For over 78 minutes Saturday night, Mountain View let opportunity after opportunity slip by.
But, when the Thunder had a golden one in front of them, they jumped on it.
Mike Richardson took advantage of a penalty kick in the final two minutes of the boys Class AAA state championship game and drilled home the game winner to give Mountain View a 1-0 win over Bellarmine Prep for its third straight state championship.
Richardson’s penalty kick was the result of a penalty whistled on Bellarmine when Mountain View’s Damien Schilling was tackled just inside the box. It proved to be the difference in the game, a difference Bellarmine loudly disapproved of after the game.
“It was a questionable call,” said Mountain View coach Jeff Brooks. “But he missed three or four others that he should have called.”
There was no controversy as far as Schilling was concerned.
“I was in the box and he was on my back,” Schilling said of his Bellarmine defender. “He totally took my legs out from under me.”
There was no decision needed for Brooks when it came to selecting the shooter on the penalty. Richardson, who netted his 23rd goal on the play, was the Thunder’s leading scorer this season and best penalty kicker. He nailed a low line drive into the left corner of the net. He made an identical kick Friday night in Mountain View’s win over Bothell.
“I always go there,”Richard said. “The goalie was a sophomore, so I figured it was a bigger pressure moment for him than me. ”
Richardson, who has been a contributor on each of Mountain View’s three titles, was right. Rafe Berry took a chance and dove to his left just as Richardson was sending the ball past him on the right.
The goal prevented the two teams from going to sudden-death overtime and possibly to a shootout. Both teams had their chances to score during the game, but Mountain View was clearly the aggressor in the second half.
The Thunder had several near misses in the game’s final 20 minutes; two were by Schilling, who went for the far post both times but was wide.
“I had lots of good chances,” said Schilling, who scored 20 goals this season. “Mike did a good job feeding me the ball. I just couldn’t put them away. I wish I had a few back, but all that matters is that we won.”
Bellarmine had a heartbreaker with five minutes to go when Jay Norwood’s attempt from point-blank range hit the post.
For the majority of the game, however, the Mountain View defense was spectacular. The Thunder defenders kept the Lions away from the goal, but when Bellarmine got close, Lawrence Fink registered 12 saves.
“Our defense did a great job,” said Brooks, who took over the Thunder reins this season after John Bain left to pursue other opportunities. “Our defenders were overmatched in size, but they really came through.”
In addition to the new coach, Mountain View returned just one starter (Richardson) and three servers from last year’s team, and not many expected the Thunder to win their third straight title.
“All season, everyone said we would take or fourth in the league, and not even make the playoffs,” Brooks said. “When we got a chance to go to the playoffs, we made the most of it. We have a young skilled team that was up to the challenge.”
Written by Ken Vance, The Columbian, May 30, 1993.