For the third time during the 2018 season, the Interlake Saints boys soccer team captured a victory against the Lake Washington Kangaroos.
Interlake 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. Interlake outscored Lake Washington 3-0 in the final 23 minutes of regulation to seal the victory.
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. The goal ignited excitement on Lake Washington’s side of the stadium.
“Those are the goals you love to see because it is really just straight work. We worked for that goal with just pure effort. It was a huge equalizer and put the momentum back in our favor,” Lake Washington head coach Rod Smith said.
Two minutes following Chang’s goal, Interlake senior Owen Gortner scored in the 57th minute, giving Interlake a 2-1 lead. 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.”
Smith credited Interlake for executing down the stretch.
“They did a great job of getting it (lead) back and we just couldn’t recover from that,” Smith said.
Following the game, Smith and his coaching staff addressed their team in the postgame huddle for close to 10 minutes. After the team huddle broke, the coaches shook hands with every single senior player on the varsity roster.
“It is always tough,” Smith said of the finality of the season finale. “It is always hard to say goodbye to your seniors. Unless you win a state championship, you have to send them out on a loss and unfortunately this was it for us tonight. It was a great group. It didn’t end the way we wanted it to but I’m proud of them for what they did this season.”