Lady Pioneers knock off Chelan in penalty kick shootout; Vejraska boots home the winning kick, Arciniega nets the only goal
OMAK – With the score even at 3-3 in a penalty kick shootout, it came down to the right leg of Omak goalie Kacie Vejraska.
It was her turn to kick.
If she made the goal, the Lady Pioneers would win. If she missed, the shootout would continue, giving Chelan an opportunity to win.
Vejraska stepped up and booted the ball to the right side of the goal out of reach of the Chelan goalie, giving Omak a 4-3 win in the shootout and the 2-1 league win on Thursday evening.
“It’s huge. We haven’t had a league win in about two years,” said Chris Werner, Omak head coach.
Another reason why Werner was excited about the win is the possibility of his two seniors getting an opportunity to play in the postseason.
“It’s big, Giselle [Arciniega] and Taylor [Palmanteer] haven’t played in a playoff game, so that’s been the goal all along,” said Werner. “Taylor has been a rock in the back. Their leadership has been phenomenal and for the younger girls to have someone like that to look up to and learn from, it’s a big deal for us.”
For the first 30 minutes, the game was a scoreless draw and it appeared that both teams would be heading into halftime knotted up at 0-0.
Chelan’s Wendy Mendez changed that. Mendez squeezed past the Omak defense striking a shot to the back of the net at the 33rd minute, giving Chelan a 1-0 lead seven minutes before halftime.
“The goal that Chelan got, it was a breakdown of communication,” said Werner. “They left her pretty wide open.”
Chelan would go into halftime up 1-0.
The Lady Pioneers have battled back from being behind before, and for them, this was nothing new.
“This is the fourth time that we’ve been down and have fought back into a game this season,” said Werner. “This team doesn’t quit. They didn’t stop. They kept digging.”
In the 54thth minute, Giselle Arciniega, forward for the Lady Pioneers, found just enough space in the box and let it loose as she tied the game at 1-1.
Omak would go on to hold off numerous shots on goal by Chelan as the game ended with both teams tied at 1-1.
Now, two five-minute overtime periods would be played to see if a winner would be determined.
In the first overtime period, Chelan nearly scored as they advanced the ball all the way to the goal but not enough for the go-ahead goal.
After a scoreless second overtime period, a penalty kick shootout would determine the winner.
Omak’s Gabby Sanabria would be the first one to kick for the Lady Pioneers, but she was unable to get it in the net. Chelan would also miss their first kick.
The second player to shoot for Chelan would be Palina Yarmolenka as she made her kick. Diandra Ulloa of Omak was unsuccessful.
Mia Bordner of Chelan missed her kick, and Daniella Garcia of Omak made hers, bringing Omak even at 1-1.
Slamo Bravo the fourth kicker for Chelan would miss her kick, and Omak’s Tania Martinez missed her kick to keep the score level at 1-1.
Chelan’s America Avila made her kick, giving Chelan a temporary 2-1 lead. Omak’s Layla Stidman made her kick tying the score at 2-2.
The sixth kicker would be Mendez as she would give Chelan a 3-2 lead, making her kick. Omak’s Alyssa Davis made her kick as well to make it 3-3.
Yennifer Sanchez of Chelan missed her kick and Vejraska, the seventh kicker for Omak, would end the game as she sailed it past the Chelan goalie for the win.
“It was awesome,” said Werner “They don’t quit. There’s fight in all of them. You normally see that from older teams, but from a younger group like this, it’s awesome to see the resiliency they have.”
Omak currently is 1-3 in the Caribou Trail League. They have an overall record of four wins, five loses, and two ties.
Chelan is 0-4 in Caribou Trail League action as they have an overall record of three wins, six losses and one tie.
The Top four teams advance to the CTL 1A Girls District Soccer Tournament at the Apple Bowl in Wenatchee from November 2-5.
W L T W L T
Cashmere 4-0-0 8-3-1
Cascade 3-1-0 6-5-0
Okanogan 2-2-0 7-3-1
Omak 1-3-0 4-5-2
Chelan 0-4-0 3-6-1