Senior forward Tyler Snow, 15, gathers in the ball before shooting on goal in the Bruins’ 2-3 loss to the Vikings of Mazama in the OSAA round-of-32 play-in game on Thursday. The Pilot/Jef Hatch
The Bruins boys soccer team had the game all tied up at two goals apiece when a controversial penalty call in the final minutes of the game gave the Vikings of Mazama a chance to take home a victory.
The penalty kick was given after a call by the officials that had fans, coaches and players staring in disbelief.
Up until the point the penalty was awarded, the game had been so physical that it had senior captain Thomas Spratt worried that he wouldn’t be able to walk on Friday.
“It was brutal,” he said. “Once you get in the playoffs the refs let everything go.”
After the ball rolled past the outstretched hands of diving goalkeeper Chandler Gotfried, the Bruins pushed to score the tying run but simply ran out of time.
“It’s tough to swallow a loss no matter how it comes,” Head Coach Pancho Garcia said. “I can’t blame the refs. I could have on the last penalty kick, but it is the way soccer is.”
“I’m sad for my kids. I thought they could have won,” he added. “I take the blame. The kids didn’t do anything wrong – they played their hearts out and I’m grateful for that.”
The Bruins scored a goal early in the first half, but it was called back by an offsides call made by the sideline judge.
The Vikings scored the first official goal at the 25-minute mark, and the Bruins were able to tie it up 11 minutes later with a long, hard shot by Spratt off a rebound.
The Bruins’ second goal came early in the second half when the Viking goalie was given a yellow card after slide tackling senior midfielder Nick Corpening in front of the goal.
Spratt took the penalty kick, and easily put it past the Vikings’ substitute goalie who was forced into the game by the yellow card.
The Vikings evened up the game at two goals, just five minutes later, and then took the win on the penalty kick.
The Bruins were outshot by the Vikings with just eight shots on goal, compared to 13 by the Vikings.
“It’s not good,” Spratt said. “We played in spurts. There were a million opportunities to put this away and we were just unlucky today.”
The loss brings to close a Bruins’ season that ended with an overall record of 10-1-2 and a first-place finish in the Far West League.