The Cook Inlet Academy coed soccer team survived and advanced at the Borealis Conference tournament Thursday in Palmer with a 3-2 overtime win over Birchwood Christian School of Eagle River.
The win pushed fifth-seeded CIA to a Friday semifinal against No. 1 Susitna Valley, which beat Nenana to advance. Friday’s other semifinal features Our Lady of the Valley and Delta Junction, quarterfinal winners over Tri-Valley and Lumen Christi, respectively.
No. 5 CIA took down No. 4 Birchwood thanks to an overtime goal by Linnaea Dohse, who received a cross from teammate Genna Nelson in the second of two five-minute overtime periods. Dohse scored her fifth goal of the season with the game-winning strike, drawing praise from CIA head coach Kenny Leaf.
“That’s exactly why I have her there,” Leaf wrote in an email.
The game-winner followed a scoreless second half that came after a frenzied first half of play. CIA got on the board first in the ninth minute with a goal by Dohse, who scored on an assist from Isaac Johnson.
Birchwood tied it up in the 18th minute on a goal by Braden Palmer, but the Eagles answered immediately, taking the lead back one minute later thanks to freshman Noah Castenholz, whose goal came courtesy of a clean break along the sideline from Johnson.
Birchwood responded yet again in the 26th minute with a scoring strike from Jackson Hanson, and the 2-all tie stood the rest of the way through regulation.