With 11 goals in the postseason so far, junior Bobby Stoyanov has been carrying the Mountlake Terrace Hawks’ offensive load throughout the 2017 district and state playoffs; on Friday, a couple of Hawks got in on the heavy lifting.
Behind second half goals by Sam Polevoy and Miklias Yonatan, the Hawks defeated the Highline Pirates 2-1 in a WIAA 2A State Boys Soccer Tournament match played at Highline Memorial Stadium in Burien.
With the victory, Terrace moves into the final four in the state tourney and will play East Valley (Yakima) in a tournament semi-final match scheduled for Friday, May 26, 8 p.m. at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner. If the Hawks are victorious over the Red Devils, the team will contend for the 2A state title the next day.
Terrace, now 4-1 in the postseason, flexed their offensive muscle against the Pirates on Friday during the first 20 minutes of the second half, then stood tall against a relentless Highline attack during the final 20 minutes and another five minutes of extra time to earn the quarterfinal triumph.
After a scoreless first half, Terrace scored two minutes after the halftime break when Polevoy headed in a corner kick cross from Stoyanov.
“The only thought in my head was ‘get it in this rectangle – don’t hit it off target,’” Polevoy explained of when Stoyanov’s cross was coming to him at the far post. “And I hit it as hard as I could.”
Polevoy’s header went nearly straight down, but had enough momentum to find its way into the goal and give the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
“The second I made contact, I knew. I was like, ‘this has to go in,’” Polevoy said.
Yonatan pushed the Terrace advantage to 2-0 when the junior found a loose ball in the 18-yard box and blasted a shot into the netting in the 58th minute.
Terrace almost scored a couple more goals during their 20-minute rush to open the second half. In the 44th minute, with his back to the goal, Stoyanov sent a long, high cross to the far post from a severe angle that eluded Pirates’ goalkeeper Kevin Ortega and bounced off the post. Then at the midpoint of the half, Polevoy flicked a header from close range that glanced off the crossbar and bounced over the top of the goal.
Desperate to get back into the match, Highline turned up the pressure after Polevoy’s mid-half miss. The Pirates scored in the 64th minute when senior Pedro Castro looped a header off a corner kick over Terrace goalkeeper Cody Nickell to cut the Hawks’ lead to 2-1.
Highline kept their offensive pressure going for the remainder of the match, especially during the final 10 minutes, but was unable to penetrate a determined Hawk defense for the equalizing goal.
Polevoy, who anchors the Hawks’ back four, liked what he saw from his defensive teammates during the matches’ final stages. “It was a good solid 10 minutes from Colin (Cockbain), Ryan Coffman, everyone winning their headers, good solid clearances out,” Polevoy boasted. “We’ve had a good defense all year, and it really showed tonight.”
The Hawks now have an entire week off to prepare for their semi-final opponent, 16-4 East Valley (Yakima). The Red Devils have won 11 games in a row – eight with shutouts – and are looking to win their fourth State boys soccer title in their history.
To view the entire WIAA 2A State Boys Soccer Tournament bracket, click http://www.wescoathletics.com/tournament.php?tournament_id=2302&sport=9.
Prep Boys Soccer: Mountlake Terrace vs. Highline, May 19 (WIAA 2A State Boys Soccer quarterfinal match)
Terrace 0 2 — 2
Highline 0 1 — 1
Sam Polevoy (Mountlake Terrace), assisted by Bobby Stoyanov, in the 42nd minute
Pedro Castro (Highline), assisted by Tommie McNeal, in the 64th minute
Tommie McNeal (Highline), in the 51st minute
Bobby Stoyanov (Mountlake Terrace), in the 77th minute
Nate Cockbain (Mountlake Terrace), in 2nd half added time
Records: Mountlake Terrace 15-6-0 overall; Highline 14-6-1 overall
Mountlake Terrace next match: versus East Valley (Yakima), Friday, May 26, 8 p.m. at Sunset Chev Stadium in Sumner
–By Doug Petrowski