A surprising soccer season at Ferris ended with a flourish, but it was the other guys who celebrated a big win Tuesday night.
Visiting Richland scored three goals in the final 8 minutes to take a 4-1 win over the Saxons and advance in 4A regional play at Ferris.
“We just didn’t play very well,” Ferris coach Robin Crain said. “Some days you have an off day, and that was us today – there’s nothing you can do about it.”
The last 8 minutes were an aberration for the Saxons (10-7), who finished a surprising second in the GSL.
“We worked hard to get here,” senior midfielder Brett Freshler said. “We had high expectations and we exceeded that during the season.
“I’m just happy to be here with my teammates.”
The Saxons started strongly in front of 200 fans on a pleasant evening. After coming up empty on several set pieces, they scored in traffic in the 14th minute.
A long pass found Freshler in stride, 30 yards from goal. He passed to senior Gabe Arnold, who shot into the left corner of the net.
The lead didn’t last long. Ten minutes later, Richland’s Alan Scott scored the first of his three goals by sliding past two Ferris defenders and sending the ball to the far side past keeper Jadon Bowton.
The second half began with a bang. In the 42nd minute, a Ferris throw-in needled its way into the Richland goal. As the Saxons celebrated and ran downfield, the Richland players registered their complaints to the officials.
Seconds later, the goal was waved off.
Chances were few during the next half hour, though the Saxons’ Alex Holmes hit the crossbar in the 68th minute.
But just as the teams seemed headed for overtime, Richland’s Jason Pietrok outmuscled two Saxons and shot past Bowton for what proved to be the winning goal.
Scott sealed the deal a minute later, and picked up a hat trick with a minute to play.
Richland outshot Ferris 15-11.
Lewis and Clark 1, Hanford 0 (SO): The Tigers stayed alive with a win over the host Falcons. They’ll host Richland in another loser-out match on Thursday at 5 p.m. at Albi Stadium.
Southridge 3, North Central 1: Emilio Sanchez scored two goals to lead keep the Suns alive in 3A regional play at Albi Stadium, eliminating the Indians.
Trailing 2-0, North Central (4-12) got one goal just before halftime, but Alejandro Hernandez sealed the win for Southridge by blocking a goalkeeper’s clearance kick in the 76th minute.
NC was outshot 14-4.
East Valley 2, Cheney 1 (SO): The host Knights (14-2) won the shootout 4-3, capped by Joey Gresch’s final score and Kole Tomcho’s key save, to defeat the Blackhawks (10-6) in the District 7 2A title match.
EV’s Deiby Bernardez scored at 17 minutes. Cheney’d Noah Prophet tied the match at 72 minutes.
Both teams will play winner-to-state games on Saturday. East Valley will host the Othello-Toppenish loser and Cheney will take on the winner.
CV prepares for Pasco
Central Valley has learned a lot since March 15.
That’s when the Bears fell 5-2 at home to Pasco, the same team they’ll face in a winner-to-state match Thursday night.
Since then, CV has won 12 straight matches to improve to 13-2 going into the match at Edgar Brown Stadium in Pasco.
“The difference in that match was that Pasco was able to finish their chances and we weren’t,” said CV coach Andres Monrroy. “We’ve matured as a team.”
Others have noticed. The Bears are ranked second in the state 4A ranks – right behind Pasco.
The winner qualifies directly to state, while the loser gets one more chance on Saturday to make the 16-team field.
Subscribe to the sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.