RICHLAND -- The prevailing theory in soccer shootouts is if your goalkeeper can make one save, that can be enough to win.
Two saves in a shootout is going above and beyond.
In an extraordinary display of poise, Richland keeper Nash Yamauchi stopped three spot kicks Saturday and nearly stopped two more against Lewis and Clark in a first-round 4A Eastern Regional matchup.
But Yamauchi's performance was matched by Tigers' goalie Cody Lang, who also made three saves, allowing LC to upset the top-seeded Bombers 3-2 in a loser-out match at Bomber Field.
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It was the second time in a week that Yamauchi has come up big in a shootout situation. In last Saturday's CBBN 4A district championship, the junior keeper made a clutch fifth-round save to set up a victory. He was even better against the Tigers, which made the loss all the more difficult to swallow.
"It's disappointing. All the guys were giving 100 percent. We did all we could," Yamauchi said. "The LC keeper played it well. We all shot to our original sides and hit our spots, but (Lang) just read it perfectly.
"Or he was very lucky."
Luck or not, Lang was in the right place at the right time, an all-important characteristic for a goalie.
"I told the guys, 'Cody will get us one (save). You guys just make your shots,' " Tigers coach Casey Curtis said. "Cody came up big time."
"We knew they had a great forward and a really good left mid," said Lang, referring to CBBN 4A first-team all-league selections Perry McNamar and Joe Virden. "We knew we had to shut them down."
The Tigers (10-8) earn the No. 1 seed into the 4A state tournament beginning Tuesday, where they will play a team to be announced in the first round.
The Bombers, however, end a promising season that saw them win the CBBN 4A league title and district title for the first time since 2003.
"I was expecting the outcome to be the other way around," Richland coach Octavio DoValle said. "(Nash) read every single one, but what can you say? You've got to make your shots."
The Bombers held an 18-11 shot advantage during the run of play and appeared to have the best of the scoring opportunities. But LC put the pressure on early with a goal in the sixth minute by Nick Doran.
Richland answered back quickly when McNamar battled Tigers defender David Waples on the left side of the LC box and drew a foul for a penalty kick. Virden converted the kick to tie the score at 1.
The Bombers' chances took a hit in the 66th minute when the Tigers retook the lead 2-1 on another Doran goal thanks to a well-placed cross by Kevin Dunham.
But it was McNamar to the rescue two minutes later. The senior forward took a pass in stride from Virden at midfield and dribbled toward the goal with a step on a pair of LC defenders. He unleashed a shot into the upper right corner that scarcely gave Lang a chance to blink, and the score was tied again at 2.
"Right when they scored, I told the team not to give up," said McNamar, who finished the year with 10 goals.
McNamar was one of just two Bombers to hit their PKs in the shootout along with Jonathan Larsen. Yamauchi saved the first two shots by LC, but the Tigers hit three of their last four shots to set up the win.
When Richland senior Eric Thomas' third-round shot sailed high and right, he made the slow walk back to his team lined up at midfield with his head in his hands. McNamar tried to keep the Bombers' captain in the moment.
"When he walked back with his head in his hands, I told him to keep his head up and remember he's still our captain," McNamar said.
In the end, it was Lang who made the difference for the Tigers.
"We had all the advantages. We had home field, and we would have been the No. 1 seed to state," McNamar said. "It's a heartbreaking loss."
The win was also a taste of sweet redemption for Curtis, who was recently fired as coach of the LC girls team after complaints from parents led to his ouster.
"This means a lot to me after fighting through the spring with all the girls' stuff," Curtis said. "I've coached my ass off this year."
Scoring--1, LC, Nick Doran (Jamal Angell), 6:00; 2, R, Joe Virden (PK), 11:00; 3, LC, Doran (Kevin Dunham), 66:00; 4, R, Perry McNamar (Virden), 68:00. Shootout goals (LC 3-2)--LC, Rhys Gentle, Blake Gustafson, Tony Buckley. R, McNamar, Jonathan Larsen. Shots--LC 11, R 18. Saves--LC, Cody Lang 3. R, Nash Yamauchi 2.
Chiawana 2, Mead 1 (SO)
SPOKANE -- Javier Peralta had seven saves over the distance of regulation and two overtime periods, and Ariel Gonzalez had one save in the shootout as Chiawana defeated Mead at Joe Albi Stadium in a loser-out battle for the Class 4A's No. 2 seed to state.
"It feels good," Riverhawks coach Rich Zoller said. "The kids are ecstatic right now, pretty much. It's our first trip to state for the boys, and we're real happy about it.
Scoring--1, Mead, Travis Hill 70:00; 2, Chi, Rene Solorio 78:00. Shootout goals (Chiawana 4-3)--Chiawana, Solorio, Alex Acevedo, Cesar Leon, Franky Mosqueda. Mead, Zach Hamer, Jordan Etten, Hill. Shots--Chi 14, Mead 13. Saves--Chi, Javier Peralta 7 (90:00), Ariel Gonzalez 1 (shootout) . Mead, Curtis Hill 8.