Camas soccer fans could feel the magic as the Papermakers defeated the Skyline Spartans in a shootout during the first round of the state tournament May 14, at Doc Harris Stadium.
“The spectator’s got their money’s worth. No question,” said head coach Roland Minder. “I hope this win teaches them to have confidence, and to play all out until the end. We can still dig deeper.”
Nate Beasley, Austin Cassity, Calvin Goon, Sam Pizot and Cayne Cardwell delivered the penalty kick goals for Camas. Skyline answered the bell four times, but Papermaker goalkeeper Sharif Batroukh denied the Spartans on their fifth and final attempt and the victory belonged to Camas.
“They’re a great team. We were neck-and-neck the whole way,” Batroukh said. “To come out of that game with a win was a miracle. It’s an amazing feeling, but the road is not over.”
The Spartans kept Batroukh busy. He racked up 10 saves during the contest. There was a ball that rolled off Batroukh’s fingertips late in the second half, but Goon got behind him in time to kick the ball out. Skyline regained possession, reloaded and fired, but Batroukh got back there in time to snag the ball.
“Calvin saved me. He’s my man,” Batroukh said. “I knew I had to get back on my feet because the next one was coming.”
Camas nearly lost its advantage in the shootout when the Skyline goalkeeper blocked a shot by Cardwell. But the official said the keeper jumped out of the box before the whistle, and that gave Cardwell another shot. He didn’t miss the second time.
“It felt amazing and bad at the same time. I almost let my team down,” Cardwell said. “Somebody was watching over my shoulder tonight.”
The Papermakers couldn’t keep the magic going in Snohomish Saturday. The Panthers scored three goals in the first half and held on for a 3-1 victory. Houston Taie netted a free kick for Camas from about 33 yards away from the net.
“I told the guys in the locker room that you have a choice. We’re down 3-0. Either the game is done and we can just kick the ball around, or we can believe in ourselves and put a up a good fight,” Minder said. “We didn’t give up. We came out and fought hard, and tried to get it back one goal at a time.”
That is the story this Camas soccer team crafted all season long. The Papermakers lost to Skyview and Union during the first round of league, but came back beat both teams through the second go around to become league champions. Camas then defeated Union one more time for the district title. The Papermakers also beat Skyline in the first round of state, a team they lost to in the very first game of the season.
“If you look back to where we started out, I think we had a lot of success,” Minder said. “This team will always be remembered for their resiliency.”