WENATCHEE—You don’t often meet your lookalike in life, but Saturday afternoon, Cascade met their’s at the Apple Bowl when they faced Deer Park in a must-win for a spot at state or their season was over. Cascade finished the regular season near the top of the CTL losing only two games to their rival Cashmere. In the playoffs, when they face each other again, this time, Cascade came together and won when it counted propelling them into Saturday’s game versus an equally impressive Deer Park team. Deer Park finished with only a single loss in the NEA League, but Cascade gave them another when they were able to tally one more goal in a shootout down to the wire. The final score was 2-1.

The first half started with steady offensive attacks from both sides that were eventually broken up by defenses that made any shots on goal difficult. Cascade, however, created a few more offensive opportunities for themselves that culminated in a goal in the 13th minute after a Deer Park foul when Cascade’s Kascia Muscutt who sent it to the back of the net past Deer Park’s goalkeeper.

Cascade’s lead was short-lived in a trend that would be a running theme throughout the afternoon when Deer Park, just two minutes later, answered with their own goal. Like Cascade, Deer Park was able to set up just outside the penalty box after a Cascade foul. Deer Park’s Livvy Moore buried it in the top right corner of the goal in the 15th minute with a powerful shot tying the game 1-1.

“As always in the postseason you’re going to have one battle after the other, so you have to expect to be firing on all cylinders,” said Glen Stefanko, Cascade head coach.

The rest of the half was mostly played in the midfield. Offenses were stopped by suffocating defenses from both teams only allowing a few attempts to break through the back lines but offered no real threats on goal. The constant back and forth, the flip-flopping of offensive possession and defensive stands was a trend that spilled over into the second half.

This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object. You cancel each other out. If Deer Park had a corner kick, Cascade would have one of their own. If there was a foul outside the penalty box from one team, there was another for the other a short while later. Both teams finished the second half scoreless forcing OT.

It was the same story, however, for the first OT, and then the second. This forced a shootout. One theme for the afternoon, when Cascade scored Deer Park answered. When Cascade’s keeper swatted away an attempt, Cascade missed the next one. Finally, Deer Park had to make the next goal in order to stay in the game, but the ball was sent wide and to the right leaving Cascade the victors.

“I think the girls are coming together at the right time,” said Stefanko, when asked about state. “If they continue to play the way they are, and rising, then I’m feeling pretty good about it.”

Cascade essentially fought themselves all afternoon, but they defeated their doppelgänger with resiliency by the skin of their teeth. They play Wahluke next in the first round of state Tuesday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m in the Apple Bowl.

Rand Stevens: 665-1167