The Lacey (Wash.) North Thurston High boys soccer team may only be two games into its new season, but it's already achieved something most other teams are unlikely to match: It's taken a season's worth of penalty kicks.
Because no ties are allowed in Washington high school soccer, North Thurston has finished both of its first two outings with spot kicks. The Rams currently stand at 1-1, with both of their games officially finishing with 2-1 scores.
Yet, as first reported by The Olympian, those second credited goals have come after an astounding 21 total penalty kicks; a 15-14 finally tally in a season-opening loss to Timberline (Wash.) High and a 6-5 PK total in an Evergreen Conference opener victory against Aberdeen (Wash.) High.
That's a total of 21 penalty kicks in just two games … in two days. If nothing else, it certainly will ensure that the Rams don't get nervous if they face a postseason shootout (Note: Technically, these tie-breaking kicks are referred to as "direct kicks" in officiating parlance, but since they're taken from the penalty spot they are more colloquially called penalty kicks by fans and many teams).
Considering the fact that North Thurston will play fewer than 20 regular season games, the Rams have already ensured that they'll average more than a penalty kick per game in the 2011-12 season, after just two games. That's incredible.
Of course, given the competitiveness of the boys soccer circuit in Washington, it would be little surprise if North Thurston took plenty more before the close of the season.