Less than three minutes into this playoff match, the Camas soccer streak looked to be in jeopardy.
South Kitsap fired the first shot on a free kick that surpassed 60 yards and skipped into the back of the net, untouched.
The Wolves, who just got off the bus and delayed the start of the game by 15 minutes, were up 1-0 on a team hoping to get to state for the 19th year in a row.
The disadvantage lasted less than 15 minutes, because South Kitsap had just awoken a sleeping giant.
Danny Wing delivered four goals, two on assists by Josh Schneider, to propel the Papermakers to a 5-3 victory May 11 at Doc Harris Stadium.
“Like I said the last time, when we want it, we can do it,” Wing said. “We just have to keep going hard. It’s all about effort.”
Camas scored three goals in a row to take a 3-1 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“We really rallied as a team after giving up that first goal,” Schneider said. “I think that shows we can pull it together when we need to.”
In the 17th minute, Schneider got the ball past the opposing goalkeeper and took a shot. It was blocked, but Wing barrel rolled through the defenders and blasted the ball into the empty net to even the score.
The Papermakers took the lead on a free kick from close range. Schneider created a diversion, and then Erik Brainard placed the ball in the unprotected side of the net.
“Erik had a very solid week of free kicks coming in,” Schneider said. “I just figured, I’ll give Erik the shot and he put it away. It was just an amazing finish. Well played.”
Wing delivered his second goal of the half in the 34 minute. He lured the keeper out of the box, got the ball by him and chipped it into the net. Wing celebrated with a standing cartwheel and a back flip.
South Kitsap got called for a foul in the box less than five minutes into the second half. Wing took the penalty shot and scored.
Later, Wing finished off a corner kick by Brainard for his fourth goal of the game.
“It’s great to see your captain step up,” Schneider said. “He’s a senior. He doesn’t want to go home He might not be playing soccer after this. We can really see the drive in him, and I really think that helps push the team.”
The tradition continues. The Camas High School boys soccer team has been to state every year since 1999.
“This is the best place to play,” Wing said. “The crowd, the players, the coaches, everything. I love Camas. It’s unlike any other.”
The Papermakers (12-2-3) host Sunnyside (14-3-2) in the first round of the state tournament Wednesday. Kick off is at 6 p.m., at Doc Harris Stadium