Skyline converts 3-2 win over Mariner for trip to state semis

May 24, 2011

By Terry Wood

The Kardiac Kids from Skyline High School are headed to the Class 4A boys soccer state semifinals for the first time in school history.

Pedro Miola (2), seen here battling against Eastlake April 26, put in the overtime game winner May 21 against Mariner at the state 4A quarterfinals. By Greg Farrar

After Austin Dodd’s last-gasp, match-tying goal in stoppage time, Pedro Miola punched in the game-winner two minutes into overtime to lift the Spartans to a 3-2 quarterfinal win over Mariner High School on May 21 on the Marauders’ home pitch at Goddard Stadium.

Fifth-ranked Skyline (14-2-2) will meet defending state champ Stadium High School, of Tacoma, in the semifinals at 8 p.m. May 27 at Harry Lang Stadium in Lakewood. Eastlake, Skyline’s Sammamish rival, also qualified for the semifinals. The Wolves (12-3-2) meet Kentwood at 6 p.m.

Skyline has had a flair for dramatic goals. On May 20, the Spartans scored in the final minute of each half for a 2-0 first-round playoff win against Central Kitsap.

“I’m just glad to still be living,” Skyline coach Don Braman said. “This team has a way of making things extremely interesting.

“But what I love about this group,” he added, “is when they face adversity they are extremely resilient and keep plugging until the end. These boys really know what to do when the game is on the line.”

Miola, a junior, was in the middle of a mad scramble in front of the Mariner goal two minutes into overtime. Dodd was the first to get a foot on a loose ball, repelled by goalkeeper Ulises Hernandez, and Miola powered the rebound into the top of the net.

How did that last goal take shape?

“I have no idea,” Miola said. “I was literally just standing on the sticks and then Doddy runs up. I just yell ‘Weave!’ and think to myself, ‘Don’t hit it over.’ The keeper was right there. I thought I was going to miss. It felt crazy when it went in. It’s exciting for everyone.”

Dodd made it 2-2 during stoppage time by punching in a rebound off a shot by Travis Strawn, the sixth close-range shot by the Spartans in the final 15 minutes. Miola tied it 1-1 with a goal in the 42nd minute.

Yahir Sandoval scored both goals for Mariner (17-4-0), first on a free kick in the 38th minute and later by sprinting to a long-distance pass from Miguel Medina and going far post from 20 yards in the 57th minute.

Miola was drained but happy afterward.

“There were so many emotions throughout the game,” he said. “There was frustration, happiness, joy, contact. There was everything. It was a game to remember.”

In the victory against host Central Kitsap, Strawn, assisted by Braxton Griffin, gave Skyline a 1-0 lead at the 39th minute. Griffin gave the Spartans insurance when he scored on a penalty kick at the 79th minute.

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