Bellevue Wolverines junior goalie Jackson Buck was honed in and focused with the game on the line in an overtime shootout against the Peninsula Seahawks.
Buck, who made a diving save to his left side, deflected Peninsula’s Evan Dayton’s penalty kick shot attempt on goal, sealing a Wolverines 2-1 overtime win against the Seahawks in the first round of the 3A state playoffs on May 14 at Bellevue Memorial Stadium. Bellevue outscored Peninsula 3-2 in the penalty kick portion of overtime, clinching the victory.
Buck studiously observed Dayton before he unleashed his shot on goal. Dayton stopped and started a few times before his shot attempt.
“I just looked at his hips, his eyes and where he was leaning. I made the stop,” Buck said after being mobbed by a bevy of teammates following the dramatic win. “I knew the score in my head. I knew what I had to do. I knew I had to come up big. I was happy I did.”
Bellevue players who scored goals during penalty kicks consisted of Ben Tobin, Sebastian Scrivner and Ryan Tobin.
Bellevue forward Jed Michael, who missed a sizable portion of the second half due to leg cramps, was glad Buck was between the posts for the Wolverines.
“We have the best goalie in the state. There is no doubt in my mind. That guy has made big save after big save,” Michael said.
Bellevue head coach Steve Zakuani concurred with Michael’s sentiment.
“He’s been that way all season. Jackson is a first-team, all-league (player) for a reason. He is one of our captains. In games like this, you need your big players to step up. Sometimes it’s a forward scoring a goal, today it was the goalkeeper,” Zakuani said.
The Wolverines improved their overall record to 14-0-3 with the win. They will face Gig Harbor in the Class 3A state quarterfinals on May 17 or May 18. The Wolverines, who won just five games during the 2018 season, are in the midst of an epic ascent on the soccer pitch.
“It is history for our guys. I give the credit to our players. Every win now is just adding to history. Tonight it was a little closer than I would had liked, but we are where we are,” Zakuani said with pride.