The Montgomery boys soccer team didn’t allow an opponent’s goal in its final 10 games of the season. Somehow, that wasn’t enough to keep the Vikings afloat.
Montgomery, the No. 3 seed, was stunned by visiting No. 6 Campolindo in a North Coast Section Division 2 quarterfinal game on Saturday night, falling 4-3 on penalty kicks after 110 minutes of action failed to produce a goal.
“When you put yourself in a competitive environment, this is always a possibility,” Vikings coach Jon Schwan told his team afterward as some of the boys buried their faces in their hands. “You played your hearts out. You just didn’t come out on top.”
It was a cruel replay for the Vikings. Last school year, playing in the fall of 2014, Montgomery lost to Terra Linda on penalty kicks in the Division 1 championship game.
The shock the Vikings were feeling didn’t come just from the sudden end to their strong season. Their confidence was sky high as the game moved to PKs, because Jordan Page had spent most of the night proving he’s one of the top goalkeepers in the region. Of course, Campolindo’s Kai Weyland was pretty good, too.
“He kept them in the game,” Schwan said of Weyland. “And Jordan did the same for us. It was a night of great goalkeeping.”
Both keepers made acrobatic plays in regulation. In the 27th minute, Montgomery’s Camden Dahms blasted a shot that Weyland was just able to tip over the top bar with a leap. Weyland did it again in the 57th minute, this time barely redirecting a shot that came in from the left side.
Page was just as active. His most miraculous play came in the 77th minute. Campolindo’s Matthew Ringquist spun and centered a pass to teammate Amir Aliakbari, who alertly fired a shot into goal. Page jabbed at the ball like a karate black belt and spun it off the bar.
The penalty kicks started well for Montgomery (14-6-2) as Carson Wyatt shot the ball to the right of Weyland and over the goalkeeper’s dive. Ringquist, a lefty, tied it for the Cougars with a perfect shot into the left side of the net. Dahms’ shot was too centered, and Weyland smothered it. Campolindo (16-3-6) then took the lead 2-1 when Seppi Ortman juked left and kicked right after getting Page moving.
Alejandro Oliveras tied it for the Vikings with a shot into the upper-right slot, and the home team was buoyant after Campo’s Ryan Rossi sent his kick over the net. But Kalpang Sherpa’s turn missed by inches, skipping off the top bar, and Aliakbari gave the Cougars a 3-2 edge with a shot to the right, just low enough to catch net.
The pressure was on for Montgomery’s Bryan Rosales — and he came through, tying it at 3-3 with a poke into the left corner. That brought Campolindo’s Shea Danforth into position. If he missed, the teams would reset with five new kickers each. But Danforth sent it right as Page dove left, and the Cougars advanced to face No. 10 Concord, an upset winner at Rancho Cotate on Saturday.
Even in the wake of the loss on a chilly night, Montgomery coaches and players were able to marvel at the defensive run this team mounted to close the season. Over the final eight games of the North Bay League season and then two postseason contests, the Vikings gave up just one goal — and that was an own goal in a 1-0 loss to Santa Rosa.