A season this good couldn’t go to waste, and it didn’t.
In the final moments of overtime, Mead midfielder Dominic DeShazo scored on a deflection to give the Panthers a 1-0 win over Ferris in a 4A District loser-out soccer match Tuesday night at Albi Stadium.
“We had a team meeting, and I told them that they had too good a year to let it go to waste,” said Mead coach Kevin Houston, whose team won the Greater Spokane League regular-season title by two games but was upset by Lewis and Clark last week in the opening round of district.
Now the Panthers will visit Big Nine champion Davis of Yakima in a regional game Saturday.
In the second game of the doubleheader Tuesday, Isaiah Van Voorhuis scored two first-half goals to lead Central Valley to 3-0 district championship win over Lewis and Clark.
Both will advance to regional games Saturday, with Central Valley hosting Chiawana of Pasco and Lewis and Clark going to Eisenhower of Yakima.
Times for all three matches will be announced today.
Mead 1, Ferris 0: With almost everyone at Albi Stadium resigned to a penalty-kick shootout, the Panthers made the most of their last chance.
Dribbling at the top of the box with two minutes left in overtime, Mead forward Jared Fretheim didn’t have to see DeShazo to find him.
“I knew he was wide open because I had two guys on me,” Fretheim said. “And I heard him screaming.”
DeShazo was indeed screaming while dashing toward goal.
“I was in the corner,” DeShazo said after the game. “I made a full-out sprint and I knew I had to get that ball.”
DeShazo shot from 15 yards, with the ball deflecting off a Saxon defender and giving keeper Kris Heldt no chance.
The game matched the top two finishers in the Greater Spokane League, but both lost in upsets last week that guaranteed one would be eliminated Tuesday night.
Both sides had plenty of chances, including two by Ferris in the final minutes of regulation. The Saxons had two good chances in the last five minutes of regulation, including Connor Ourada’s blast in the 75th minute.
Later, Mead keeper Eric Bjerkestrand made a point-blank save off a nice shot by Clayton Paull, then collided with a teammate and needed several minutes to recover.
“Just as the shot went in, his knee caught me in the head, but it’s all good,” Bjerkestrand said.
In the final seconds, Fretheim shot strongly from 15 yards. Heldt made a diving save before defender Tucker van Tatenhove cleared the ball off the line for a corner.
“There were a lot of close calls and it was a very competitive game,” Houston said. “For the fans this is the type of game you want to see.”
Ferris had the better of play early in the first half, but Mead rallied late in the half.
Central Valley 3, Lewis and Clark 0: “I was in the right place at the right time,” said Van Voorhuis, who scored twice in a seven-minute span late in the first half, the second on a strong header from the left side of the box off a cross.
Van Voorhuis capped the game with a dribble down the left side and a cross that found Reid Eliason in perfect position for a short goal.
The Bears (10-3) made the most of their chances, getting three goals on just six shots. The Tigers (10-7) had just three shots on goal.
“We feel like we’re peaking,” CV coach Andres Monrroy said, “and this is the right time to do it.”