Destin wins it on penalty kicks, advance to finals

Tina Harbuck

After an hour of up and down the field and even overtime, it all boiled down to penalty kicks for the Destin Marlins boys soccer team as they defeated the Meigs Wildcats 0-0 (4-3 on PKs) in the first round of the Okaloosa Middle School Soccer Tournament in Destin Monday night.

“Everything in the playoffs can be happening,” said Destin Coach Carlos Gonclaves.

“We did not prepare to go to the PK shootouts but you never know.”

Destin and Meigs played two full 30 minute halves with each team having opportunities to score, with near misses.

With the game deadlocked at 0-0 at the end of regulation, it went into overtime with two five minute halves, which again ended in no score.

Then it came down to penalty kicks with each team picking five players to step up to the line.

Destin missed the first and Meigs nailed it. Destin missed again on try number two, with Meigs finding the back of the net again.

On try three, Destin finally got one past the goalie, and Meigs missed.

On the fourth try, both Destin and Meigs scored.

On the fifth round, Destin scored and Meigs shot went high and over the goal for a 3-3 tie.

At this point, it went one-on-one PKs.

On the first two tries, both teams missed.

For kick No. 8, Coach Gonclaves picked L.J. Figueroa to give it a try. Figueroa got it past the Meigs goalie and the team errupted in celebration.

On the Wildcats try, Destin’s Broc McPherson blocked him out for the win.

“We’re so glad we win this game,” Gonclaves said.

“It was very hard to see. You work hard all season and then PK shootout … you go home.

“But so thankful to God for the great opportunity to have this team play in the finals,” he said.

Destin plays for the county championship at 5 p.m., Wednesday against Liza Jackson in Destin.

When: 5 p.m. Wednesday

Who: Destin vs. Liza Jackson

Where: Destin field