It was a nail biter at the BBMAC pool this past Thursday, Aug. 26, for the Islanders. Coming off just a one goal loss to Poway last week, Coronado looked to pick up its first win this season as they battled the Norsemen of Valhalla High School.
The first quarter in many ways was a strong indicator of how Thursday afternoon’s game would go. Both teams would remain dead locked at 2-2 for much of the first half thanks to excellent play from the Islander defense, namely that of goalie Sebastian Palomera who turned away many shots on goal, along with Thatcher Lytel, and Hunter Bosworth, both of whom consistently blanked their opponents and blocked shooting and passing lanes.
Heading to the second quarter, Valhalla would be able to get one by Palomera and the Islander defense to take a 3-2 with just over two minutes to play till the half. However the Islanders would quickly respond thanks to a goal from Jack Hillinski. Drawing it back to a 3-3 game with 50.89 left in the half.
Over the final 50 seconds of the second quarter the Coronado defense would yet again stand up. On two straight defensive series the Islanders would force turnovers thanks to a steal by Max Ramey and blocked pass attempt by Hillinski, keeping the game tied at 3-3 heading to the second half.
The Islanders defense would continue to show it’s teeth early in the third quarter as well. As Palomera would turn away five shots on goal in the first two minutes to keep the game level. On offense the Islanders would keep peppering the net of Valhalla, but despite several quality shots from Lytel and Max Diaz the two teams would remain tied.
Both teams however would manage one goal each in the third, with Coronado’s fourth goal coming from Hillinski; scoring on an unassisted skip shot right before the end of the quarter. Tying the game at 4-4 heading to the final quarter.
Perhaps it was the goal from Hillinski or perhaps it was the speeches from both teams respective coaches during the break. But for whatever reason the offense would come alive in the fourth.
In the opening minute of the fourth, Diaz would put the Islanders ahead 5-4 with a skip shot from short range. But the lead would be short lived at Valhalla would quickly respond with two straight goals to put them ahead 6-5 with 3:08 to play. However Coronado would not give in as Hillinski would add to his goal total, tying the game yet again with 1:38 to play.
After a great save by Palomera on the ensuing Norsemen possession, Coronado would retake possession with 54.7 seconds to play. After some crisp passing sophomore Luke Machin would fire from long range and score, what at the time appeared to be the game winner, to make it 7-6 Islanders with 36.17 to play.
However the Norsemen would unfortunately have and answer as they would yet again tie the game with and equalizing goal just one possession later to send the game to overtime. But with a game as good as this one, who wouldn’t want a little extra time?
In the first overtime period, both teams’ strong defensive play would return. As despite the onslaught of goals in the previous quarter both teams would only muster a goal each in the first overtime period making it a 8-8 and force this game into double over-time. With the Islanders lone goal of the first overtime coming off a beautiful backhand goal by Ramey that was assisted thanks to a great pass by Blake Bergener.
In the second overtime period it would again be Ramey who would strike again thanks to a heads up play, out swimming the keeper to a loose ball and beating him for an easy goal making it a 9-8 game with 2:12 to play.
For the final two minutes the Islanders would do what they had done most of the afternoon. Shutdown the Valhalla attack, with Lytel sealing the game with a steal, giving Coronado the 9-8 win.