Capital 7, Lincoln 3
(Olympia, WA) Coming into the match Capital Cougar coach Andrew Lopez made it clear to his team the mission in their finale against Lincoln. Lopez knew this was going to be a special night with a roster filled with 13 Seniors, it was Senior night with a long pre-game celebration including the Seniors singing the National Anthem. Lopez made it clear that his squad needed to be focused because there was no room for mistakes. The Cougars needed to beat Lincoln to clinch the Narrows League Championship and a trip to the State Tournament.
Capital got off to a fast start scoring in the 7th minute when Nigel El-Sokkary fired a shot past Abes Freshman Keeper Gabe Foster. The Cougs would tally another goal in the 25th minute on a shot from Scott Penner with the assist to El-Sokkary and Capital led 2-0.
Lincoln made it interesting with a score of their own in the 38th minute on a goal by Ramiro Marquez and the Abes were trailing only 2-1 at the half. Lopez stressed to his team that they needed a knock-out punch early in the 2nd half. They had attacked and felt like overwhelmed the Abes keeper Foster but he was making save after save frustrating the Cougs who certainly felt like they should have had a larger halftime lead. Lopez reminded his squad a tie was as good as a loss and they needed the win to clinch the title.
The Cougs listened and certainly produced the result Lopez wanted. Walid Benmouloud broke free in the 44th minute and got into a 1 on 1 with Foster and went far post for the score making it 3-1 This goal would also win our ProActive Physical Therapy Play of the Game. 2 minutes later Riley PotKanjak dribbled between defenders and popped one between the pipes to make 4-1 just 5 minutes into the 2nd half.
The next barrage was again led by Benmouloud as he sprinted free and knocked it in to make it 5-1. 2 minutes later Rodolfo Castillo got into the mixkicking home a shot off a pass from El-Sokkary and it was 6-1 in the 66th minute.
Lincoln’s Tyler Zamira would break the ice in the 2nd half for the Abes with a beautiful shot in the 71st making it 6-2. Zamira would also get an assist on their final goal in stoppage time passing the ball to Ronaldo Venegas who did not miss giving Lincoln a final count of 3 goals.
Capital’s final goal came prior to stoppage time and from the unlikliest of players. Senior Scott Neuville had never turned out for soccer before this season and had spent the entire season on the JV team playing sparingly. Once Capital got the big lead Lopez substituted and made sure all Seniors got time in the match. In the 74th minute Gabriel Mozipo for Capital got tripped in the box giving the Cougs a PK. Immediately with no hesitation all of the Cougs pushed Nueville to take the shot. Nueville fired it to Foster’s right and snuck in just inside the post for the goal. The team erupted when the shot went in celebrating the unlikely goal scorer.
Capital edges Central Kitsap by 1 point to win the League Championship and qualify for the State Tournament. Capital will play Columbia River in the opening round of the District Tournament. There are 6 slots to State and 4 of those are taken by the Narrows, SPSL, SeaMount and GSHL League Champions. They will play themselves to determine the 1-2-3 and 6 seeds into State. The rest of the teams will battle for the 2 remaining State births.
Our Tommy Lowe of the Greene Realty Groups Players of the Game went to Scott Neuville of Capital and Lincoln’s Tyler Zamira.