RATHDRUM — After splitting in regular season matches, Thursday’s semifinal in the 3A District 1-2 tournament between Timberlake and St. Maries was just like the previous close matchups.
Well, almost like those matches.
Timberlake outshot St. Maries 4-3 on penalty kicks after playing to a 1-1 draw through regulation and overtime at Sunrise Rotary Field, advancing to the state 3A tournament for the first time in the five-year history of the program.
“It’s really special to carry on what coach Bert (Bentley, who started the Timberlake program in 2014) has done,” said Timberlake coach Steve Michael, who took over the boys program this fall in addition to remaining as girls coach at the school. “It’s nice to take that next step.”
In Intermountain League play, St. Maries beat Timberlake 3-2, and Timberlake beat St. Maries 1-0.
After missing on its first attempt in the shootout, Timberlake converted four straight penalty kicks. St. Maries made its first three, then missed in the fourth and fifth round.
Timberlake (9-7) will face top-seeded Bonners Ferry (13-0-3) in the district championship game on Saturday at 1 p.m. in Rathdrum. Bonners Ferry defeated fourth-seeded Grangeville (5-9-0) in the other semifinal.
Denton Meijerink opened the scoring in the second minute for Timberlake, but Matt Masterson’s goal in the seventh minute evened the match for St. Maries, which finishes 8-7-1.
“They had great play on both sides of the ball,” said Michael of St. Maries. “They gave us a lot of fits in the midfield and we had our struggles connecting our passes.”
First half — 1, TL, Denton Meijerink (unassisted), 2:00. 2, SM, Matt Masterson (unassisted), 7:00. Second half — none. First overtime — none. Second overtime — none. Shootout — TL, Meijerink, Travis Doty, Michael Simpson, Wade Scott. SM, Trevor DeVries, Jackson Pritchard, Toby Young.
Shots on goal — SM 11, TL 13.
Saves — SM, Ben Bailey 6; TL, Sheldon Kistler 8.