SAMMAMISH – No one played bigger than Saif Kerawala in the biggest boys soccer match in school history for Issaquah High School.
The Eagles’ junior goalkeeper was a larger-than-life figure with school’s first KingCo 4A championship on the line.
The 6-foot-3 Kerawala booted in the first penalty kick and stopped two penalty kicks in an overtime shootout as fourth-ranked Issaquah knocked off host and third-ranked Skyline 2-1 on Thursday night in the KingCo 4A title match.
The Eagles (12-1-1) claimed the school’s first KingCo 4A title in their first appearance in the title match in school history under first-year head coach Kyle Tatro.
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“I’ll tell you, Saif’s big-time,” Tatro said. “He’s a good player and one of the many reasons why this team is special. We knew that he was capable of those kinds of things. We knew he could perform in these kinds of situations.”
Saam Amiri, a junior forward, hit the clinching penalty kick and Eagles fans stormed the field with their team. Kerawala started the shootout with a kick save at the left post, hit the first PK and then stopped a Spartan shot in the second round.
“I was familiar with a lot those guys, because I’ve either played with them or against them in Eastside FC,” Kerawala said. “I got lucky on a few of those. I guessed and got it right..
“I just try to get as big as I can when they run up and try to read their hips.”
Issaquah advances to the state tournament, which begins with first-round matches May 19-20. The Eagles face the No. 4 seed from the West Central/Southwest districts.
Skyline (12-1-3), the regular-season champion in KingCo 4A, meets sixth-place Garfield for Sea-King District’s No. 2 seed to state on Tuesday.
“We were strong all night, but we just weren’t lucky,” Skyline coach Don Braman said.
Third-place game (loser out)
Garfield 2, Redmond 1
Jokichi Matsubara blasted a 20-yard shot into the far left corner as the Bulldogs (7-5-2) scored two goals in the final four minutes to erase a 1-0 hole. It was Matsubara’s team-best seventh goal this season.
Garfield,sixth in KingCo 4A during the regular season, attempts to extend its season again on Tuesday.