A second-half surge unveiled by the Interlake Saints boys soccer team propelled them to a victory against Lake Washington Kangaroos with their season on the line.
Interlake, which scored three goals in the final 23 minutes of play, earned a 4-1 win against Lake Washington in a loser-out, KingCo 3A playoff game on May 8 at Interlake High School in Bellevue.
Saints’ senior Owen Gortner scored a game-high three goals (12th minute, 57th minute, 72nd minute) in the pressure-packed contest against the Kangaroos. Gortner’s first goal came on a header after a perfect throw in by Will Meadows, giving Interlake a 1-0 lead. The Saints led 1-0 at halftime but saw the momentum shift drastically early in the second half. Lake Washington midfielder Braydon Chang scored in the 55th minute of play, tying the game at 1-1. Chang fought through multiple Interlake defenders before uncorking a shot, which found the lower right corner of the back of the net.
Lake Washington’s newfound momentum didn’t last long.
Gortner maneuvered through a bevy of Lake Washington defenders in the middle of the field before scoring in the 57th minute, giving Interlake a 2-1 advantage. Interlake forward Juan Vega de Soto extended Interlake’s lead to 3-1 with a goal in the 69th minute of play. Vega de Soto scored after receiving a perfect pass from the left side of the field from junior Cameron Rao. Gortner scored the final goal of the night off of a pass from a corner kick in the 72nd minute of play.
Interlake head coach Dan Peterson said Gortner’s goal in the 57th minute was big for his team.
“That is as good of a goal as you’ll see all season. He (Gortner) slipped through three guys, put his right foot on it and was calm on the finish. It was a great goal and got us back our lead,” Peterson said. “They (Lake Washington) then had to start pressuring and we were able to get a couple of more goals. None of that happens if Owen doesn’t get the one to get us the lead again.”
The Saints have now defeated the Kangaroos three times during the 2018 season.
“I think Lake Washington played really well this season and for whatever reason we had their number this year. Last year they had our number. They got us three times last year and we got them three times this year,” Peterson explained.
Gortner said his squad was confident heading into the showdown against Lake Washington.
“We went and saw them play against Bellevue on Saturday (May 5). We were feeling good with the game plan. It was just a matter of execution for us. We went out and did it. Especially in the second half,” Gornter said. “It was just big because I want to bring these guys to state (finals) and this is just the first step.”
Peterson said the Saints’ roster is a close-knit group.
“No one wants this to be over, they want to keep playing. They are good friends and they enjoy practice every. They really want to keep this going,” Peterson said. “I think that is a big deal. They play the game for each other.”