In the final minute of soccer at Doc Harris Stadium Tuesday, Josh Tkachenko kicked in the biggest goal of his life to send Camas to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 2014.
“I wasn’t expecting to get it at the end, but (Josh) Schneider got a head on it and I just finished it to the best of my ability,” Tkachenko said. “I’m really happy to get that goal for the team.”
After seeing their 1-0 lead disappear, the Papermakers rallied to tie the score twice, and then finally defeated Sunnyside, of Yakima County, 4-3, in double overtime.
“The last game at Doc for us as seniors; to pull out a win is just crazy,” said Toby Pizot. “After being in that same position the last three years and losing in overtime, this feels incredible.”
Pizot tied the score on an equalizer with 23 minutes left in regulation. Luke Schoene delivered a free kick, and there was a mosh pit in the middle. Pizot got to the ball and slotted it in with his left foot.
“We were down 3-2, and that goal changed the game,” Pizot said. “It gave us hope.”
Danny Wing fired in the first goal for Camas, in the second minute of the game, on an assist by Erik Brainard.
“Credit to Erik on that one,” Wing said. “He just set me up on a platter. I had to finish that for him.”
Sunnyside countered with two goals in the next 11 minutes to take a 2-1 advantage. Camas tied it up before halftime, when a corner kick by Schoene deflected off a Grizzly and went into the goal.
The Grizzlies regained the lead in the 52nd minute, but the Papermakers refused to lose.
“It just shows the character of these guys, and the desire,” said Camas head coach Roland Minder.
Camas (13-2-3) faces Central Valley (15-2), of Spokane, in the quarterfinals Saturday, at 1 p.m., at Spokane Falls Community College.
“Let’s not be done,” Minder said. “Let’s not be satisfied with the quarterfinals.”
Wing and Pizot are both ready to lay it all on the line for the Papermakers.
“We have six seniors and the younger guys are stepping up,” Wing said. “Everything’s coming together. We’re excited.”
“The Final Four is our goal,” Pizot said. “Get there, and who knows what’s going to happen.”