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Late goals sinks Wildcats | Soccer
Stanwood's Laurence Wanambisi broke through for two second-half goals, one in stoppage time, to lead Stanwood to a 2-1 rain-soaked win over the Oak Harbor High School soccer team Friday, May 2, at Wildcat Memorial Stadium.
The loss kept Oak Harbor from moving within one game of North leader Marysville-Pilchuck and could keep Oak Harbor from finishing in second place and securing a home playoff game.
The Wildcats (4-7, 6-7-1) now sit in third behind the Tomahawks (6-5, 6-8) and Stanwood (6-5, 7-6-1) with two conference matches left.
The top four in each division qualify for the district tournament; the top two host the first-round games.
Oak Harbor plays Meadowdale (7-4, 8-5-1) at home at 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 5, and then finishes the regular season at Marysville-Pilchuck Wednesday.
With a steady wind at its back, Stanwood dominated play in the first half, but keeper Kevin Silveira and the Wildcat defense turned back each assault and the teams entered the break in a scoreless tie.
Oak Harbor made some changes in the second half.
"(We moved) Alex Krantz to the outside midfield opposite Gavin Stewart and Caley Powers to center midfield with Andrew Mitchell to strengthen our attack," coach Brian Thompson said.
The tactic and the Wildcats "giving it their all," according to Thompson, allowed Oak Harbor to take control of the game.
J.J. Mitchell scored in the 57th minute off an assist from Gavin Stewart.
Oak Harbor continued the pressure, including a three-shot sequence just moments after the goal.
That was followed by near misses by Stewart and Caley Powers off a header.
Stanwood, however, battled back. A header set up by a penalty kick tied the score in the 61st minute.
Oak Harbor stayed aggressive and created several other excellent chances but could not find the back of the net.
Wanambisi struck again, this time on a break away, to give Stanwood the lead with about two minutes left.
The Wildcats responded, getting two more great looks, one off a corner kick and another by J.J. Mitchell on a rebound in the final seconds, but Oak Harbor couldn't get the equalizer.