Ponderosa junior midfielder Lars Peterson was calm under the penalty kick pressure.
Penalty kicks are usually decisive, shooters are expected to score and that's just what Peterson did in the Mustangs' first-round Class 4A soccer playoff game against Kennedy Oct. 23 at Sports Authority Stadium.
Ponderosa was awarded the penalty kick with 16:54 remaining in regulation time because of a Kennedy foul in the penalty box.
Peterson converted the kick and the fifth-seeded Mustangs escaped with a 1-0 victory over the No. 28 Commanders.
“It was pretty pressuring but I knew if I scored, we were going on,” related Peterson. “I was calm and just took my time.
“I tried to look to the right and I hit it to the left. I tried to fake the keeper out a little. Yeah, I was expected to make it. It was a relief that I scored.”
Kennedy players were bothered that a penalty kick was given to the Mustangs.
“They dragged down David Patterson,” said Ponderosa coach Jim Engels. “It was an easy call. Lars Peterson is one of my calm guys. We've been practicing penalty kicks because you never know. He's pretty good at those.”
Peterson's goal decided a close game between two evenly matched teams.
“That was a scary No. 28 team,” admitted Engels. “They gave us all we could handle. For a No. 5 against a 28 seed, you would think you could beat them pretty easy, but they were a pretty good team.”
Ponderosa (12-2-1) advanced to the second round, where the Mustangs faced No. 21 Summit (10-5-1) Oct. 29 at Sports Authority Stadium.
“We have the second round and that's where we got upset last year,” said Engels, referring to a 2-1 loss last season to Denver South. “Hopefully we can play better than we did against Kennedy.”
In another Class 4A first-round playoff game Oct. 23, Paul Grizzle scored off an assist from Ian Thomas in Valor Christian's 1-0 win over Vista Peak Prep. The Eagles' keeper Connor Georgopulos notched his fifth shutout of the season
Tenth-seeded Valor (11-5-0) traveled to Evergreen Oct. 29 for a second-round match against the Cougars (13-2-1).