John Nagel kicked the post and then the Shadow kicked the Bigfoot.
The Spokane Shadow rallied from two goals down to defeat the Everett Bigfoot 3-2 in a game between USISL league leaders at Spokane Falls Community College Sunday evening.
The Shadow let Craig Beeson slip free to score off a header in the 19th minute, and just 4 minutes later, Michael Brady’s shot deflected past Nagel, the Spokane goalkeeper.
“They’re not going to score again, basically, is the way you approach it,” Nagel said. “I thought about it for 5 seconds when I was kicking the post. If you dwell on it, it will take you out of the game. It’s difficult, but that’s something you learn.”
Spokane tied it before the first half was over on goals by Chris Stiles and Zane Higgins. The Shadow got the game-winner when Dave Berto sent a 21-yard left-footer past Todd Stroebeck in the 64th minute.
“It’s just believing,” Shadow coach Einar Thorarinsson said. “It’s about the third time this year we’ve (come from behind). I had faith. We had opportunities. I felt if we scored one before halftime, we’d be all right. Their two shots they scored on were really the only two opportunities they had.”
The Shadow, leaders of the Northern Division of the Western Conference Premier League, improved to 8-2, avenging a 2-1 loss in Everett two weeks ago when Beeson scored twice. The Bigfoot, now 7-3, lead the Western Conference in the Pro League.
The Shadow were tired after playing in Yakima Saturday night, when they scored their five goals in a 5-1 win in the last half of the second half, Thorarinsson said.
It showed when the Bigfoot scored early.
“We talked all week about (Beeson), know where he is,” Nagel said. “He’s not the fastest player and he’s not the biggest player, but he’ll win balls in the air for you all the time. He’s an awesome player.”
Nagel was moving right when Scott Hall sent the ball across, but Beeson popped up and headed the ball in.
“He’ll lose himself in there,” Nagel explained. “That’s a typical goal for him.”
Bradley’s goal was set up when the Shadow threw away a throw-in. Bradley’s shot from 21 yards deflected off a player and over Nagel’s head.
Higgins rallied the Shadow by taking a pass and dribbling down the left edge of the Everett box and then crossing the ball to Stiles, who had lots of time and room to score his fourth goal.
“Zane was brilliant,” Stiles said. “He drew everyone to him and cut the ball back to me against the grain.”
Shortly after that, Beeson and Spokane defender Stuart Saunders banged heads and left the game bleeding.
“Their attack is deliberate and potent with (Beeson),” Nagel said. “Without him, they’re just deliberate.”
Three minutes before halftime, Higgins took a pass from Kieran Barton for a breakaway, dribbled around Stroebeck and tapped the ball in for his third goal.
The Shadow start the second half of their season against the Montclair, Calif., Falcons, next Saturday at 7 p.m. at SFCC. The Falcons, a premier team from the Western Conference Southern Division, were 3-3 heading into the weekend.
Spokane 3, Everett 2
First half - 1, Everett, Beeson (Hall), 19:00. 2, Everett, Bradley, 23:00. 3, Spokane, Stiles (Higgins), 37:00. 4, Spokane, Higgins (Barton), 42:00. Second half - 5, Spokane, Berto, 64:00.
Shots on goal - Everett 10, Spokane 13. Saves - Everett, Strobeck 8; Spokane, Nagel 6. Attn: 1,461.
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