A soccer league finale for the ages

Kinsmen and Mister Tire leave everything out on the field in East Kootenay Soccer League final that was decided by penalty kicks.

The Kinsmen squad of the East Kootenay Soccer League celebrate their playoff championship win over Mister Tire on Friday evening at the Mount Baker soccer field.

The Kinsmen squad of the East Kootenay Soccer League celebrate their playoff championship win over Mister Tire on Friday evening at the Mount Baker soccer field.

It was a finale for the ages on Friday evening between Kinsmen and Mister Tire of the East Kootenay Soccer League.

With heroics on both sides of the pitch at Mount Baker Secondary School, the league final was decided in penalty kicks when Rob Barrett  made it five goals in a row for Kinsmen, sinking his shot behind Mister Tire keeper Travis Young to win it 4-3.

Mister Tire scored four times in the shootout, giving Kinsmen the edge when their fourth shot pinged off the crossbar.

The penalty kicks wrapped up a wild game that saw the Kinsmen squad erase a two-goal deficit to tie it back up in the second half. Mister Tire pulled ahead before Kinsmen knotted it back up late in the game to force extra time.

Kinsmen pulled ahead in the 20-minute extra time, but Mister Tire answered back to force the shootout.

Ross Hartell potted a hat trick for Mister Tire, while Jake Walmsley scored twice, and posting a goal in the shootout for the Kinsmen squad.

Mister Tire got on the board early, with Hartell’s first of the game, poking a shot by Kinsmen keeper Gary Elliot inside the 18-yard box.

They doubled the lead later in the half, when Mike Hamm deflected a ball from Chris Rushworth, who put it on net after taking a free kick deep in Kinsmen’s zone from the right side of the field.

Mister Tire was using the long ball to try and break through Kinsmen’s defence, while the redshirts kept Young busy in net, who made some key early saves on Walmsley and Joey Brons.

However, the former managed to get his first of the game before the end of the half to cut down the deficit, when he received a pass deep in Mister Tire’s zone and put a shot past Young.

Moving into the second half, Kinsmen missed out on a glorious chance to tie it back up as some nifty work to get to the 18-yard box pulled Young out of position, however, the shot drifted wide of the net.

Though Kinsmen put a lot of pressure on Mister Tire, Elliot was still occupied in net for the redshirts. He made a diving save on a free kick 30 yards out from Hamm and also made two sharp saves on Rushworth, who broke in from the left side of the field and picked up his own rebound after putting a shot on net.

Kinsmen later tied up the game when Patrick Webb blasted a well-placed shot into the corner from the midfield.

With momentum on their side, the redshirts looked to pull ahead for the first time, but it was Mister Tire who regained the lead, when Hartell picked up a through ball and beat Elliot inside the 18-yard box.

As the minutes ticked down to the end of the game, Chris Franklin tied it back up again, picking up a loose ball that broke through Mister Tire’s defence on a free kick and putting it on goal.

The two teams headed into extra time and Kinsmen got their first lead of the game a few minutes in, when Walmsley picked up the ball from a goal kick and beat Young for his second of the game.

Elliot was busy on his end of the pitch, robbing Rushworth again, who broke in from the left side of the field, along with making a diving save on a solid strike from Hamm.

But the game seesawed back to an even score when Hartell got his head on a corner kick, deflecting it on goal in the second half of extra time.

Mister Tire scored four times in penalty kicks, with the fifth shot ricocheting off the crossbar. Kinsmen scored on all five shots to notch the win and capture the championship.

League Awards

Defensive Specialist

AJ Wheaton (Mister Tire)

Most Improved

Curtis Martin (Kinsmen)

Regular Season champions

Mister Tire

Playoff champions

Kinsmen

MVP

Gary Elliot (Kinsmen)

Golden Boot for Top Scorer

Corey Moore, 12 goals (Mister Tire)

Colin Hardwick Memorial Trophy

for sportsmanship

Matt Sopkow (Players Bench)