QUINCY – The Quincy High School boys soccer team swooped in to take a last-minute victory from Cascade High School out of Leavenworth on Saturday at Quincy High.
“It just felt like a game that was ours, for sure. And they were just hoping that they would get one goal and that we were gonna sit back, but you could just tell that we were on their heels, ”said Quincy Head Coach Franciso Tafoya.
The two teams, while not vying for a ticket to state, were battling for the district championship title since the winner and loser of the game were guaranteed to move on to statewide competition.
Going into the match, the Jacks and Kodiaks had each beaten the other once this season. Each of those games had resulted in the other team winning by a slim margin of one point. This time was no different.
The match, like the two before it, was tight and aggressive. There were six total yellow cards given, two to Quincy and four to Cascade. One of the Kodiak’s four was given to the coach just five minutes into the second half.
From beginning to end, Quincy pushed to keep Cascade back. Many closely-missed goals by both teams had the crowd on their toes, their disappointment easily heard when the ball did not go into the net.
It was clear that both teams had earned their spot in this championship game by not giving up.
In what seemed like it was going to be determined by a penalty kick shootout, the game was stuck at a 0-0 score until the final two minutes when Quincy junior Antonio Valadez was able to see the net.
Valadez had to work hard for the goal, having kicked the ball and hit the pole on the goal pole on the right. The ball bounced back to Valadez before he kicked it again and made it into the net. He was assisted by junior Jorge Nunez.
“I hit it with my right and I hit the post, and it came back so I hit my left and it went in,” said Valadez.
All that was left for the Jacks was to hold Cascade back one final minute until the whistle was blew, and they did.
Quincy won, 1-0, and are the District 6 Champions.
“It was amazing,” said Nunez. “I mean, it’s always been a dream since we were playing club. Most of this team played club together. We’ve always talked about this moment. ”
Nunez said the team is a family with great chemistry on the field. He said the Jacks have what it takes to win state.
“I just knew we always had a good squad. It was just a thing of fine-tuning all this and that, you know, not just on the field, but as a team as a whole. And I just feel like we’re peaking right at the time that we need to be, ”said Tafoya.
Quincy has a 13-4-1 record overall and a No. 8 Washington Interscholastic Activities Association Rating Percentage Index rank in 1A heading into the postseason.
“Just because we’re 10th or ninth (WIAA RPI) doesn’t mean we’re not good enough to compete with these top teams,” said freshman Romualdo Sandoval.
In the last decade, Quincy has placed twice at state. They took second in 2015-16 in the 2A classification and first in 2013-14 in the 1A classification.
“Kudos to the boys you know, it’s just from their work. Really can’t take that away from them. It’s all on them, ”said Tafoya. “We do what we can as coaches to guide them, but at the end of the day, they’re the ones doing all the work on the field.”
Rebecca Pettingill may be reached at email@example.com.