SUMNER, Wash. – St. George’s dominated Riverside Christian all season long.
The trend continued Friday night at the State 2B/1B boys soccer tournament.
Junior Evan Furbeyre’s goal in overtime lifted the Dragons to a 3-2 win over the Crusaders in the state semifinals at Sunset Chev Stadium, giving St. George’s its third win this season in the matchup between the two teams.
St. George’s (16-3-1) will play Tacoma Baptist, a 5-1 winner over Shoreline Christian, in the finals tonight at 6.
Although the Dragons’ two previous wins over the Crusaders were lopsided affairs, Riverside Christian (12-7) hung tough with a chance to play for the state title on the line.
The game came down to just a few inches.
In the 83rd minute, junior Gerhard Muelheims launched a shot from the left side from nearly 10 yards out. Riverside Christian goalkeeper Loren Button dove and made the initial stop but couldn’t get a handle on the ball.
Furbeyre came charging in and scored easily from point-blank range, sending the Dragons to their second appearance in the title game since 2000 when they won it all.
“I just saw that it was rolling away from him and I knew that was it,” said the junior, who recorded his first two-goal game of the season. “I just had to get my toe on it.”
Coach Cam Preston was already setting his lineup in preparation for penalty kicks, but his team made sure that things didn’t get that desperate.
“We finally got them to press up all at once and follow the shots,” Preston said. “They hadn’t been doing that and we talked about that. They made the adjustment and that’s what made it go in.”
The Dragons nearly led 1-0 at the half, but Riverside Christian’s Jeremy Pynch lofted a free kick from 40 yards out and midfielder Derrick Byrne headed it over charging goalkeeper Jordan Dickson for the goal in the 39th minute.
In the second half, after St. George’s took a 2-1 lead on Furbeyre’s goal in the 58th minute, Byrne struck again just 7 minutes later, scoring from 25 yards out as Dickson couldn’t corral the short hop as the ball rode up his chest and into the goal.
The Dragons played without senior offensive captain and senior Grant Evans, who broke his shoulder in the regionals.