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Hobbled forward leads Ferris to state

Isaac Peter doesn’t need to be completely healthy to be the best player on the field.

Ferris’ senior forward proved that Saturday afternoon at Albi Stadium by scoring both of the Saxons’ goals in a 2-1 4A regional boys soccer win over Davis of Yakima, despite being hampered by a sore – and heavily bandaged – hamstring.

Peter’s effort gave Ferris the No. 1 regional seed at state and the opportunity to host Stadium of Tacoma in the first round of the State 4A state tournament at Albi Stadium on Tuesday. That game will be part of a doubleheader that will also include a first-round State 2A matchup between East Valley, a 2-1 regional shootout winner over East Valley of Yakima on Saturday.

In other 4A regional games on Saturday, Lewis and Clark traveled to Richland and knocked off the Bombers 3-2 in a shootout to earn the district’s No. 3 seed to state, and Pasco-based Chiawana rallied to trip Mead 2-1 in another shootout at Albi.

LC will open state tournament play on Tuesday against Chiawana in Pasco at a time yet to be determined.

In 3A action, University saw its season end with a 3-2 regional loss to Eastmont at Albi. In 2A regional play, East Valley advanced to state by edging East Valley of Yakima 2-1 in a shootout in Yakima, while Pullman fell to Ellensburg 1-0 in a shootout.

Peter, who suffered a hamstring pull in a 2-1 loss to Mead in the district title game a week earlier, “wasn’t even close” to being fully recovered from the injury on Saturday, Ferris coach Robin Crain said.

“But he played much better today than I thought he would,” Crain added.

Peter scored the game’s first goal late in the first half when he headed in a corner kick from Matt LaPlante, and then put the Saxons up 2-0 in the 60th minute when he took a pass from Mike Oien, beat a defender down the left side and scored in a 1-on-1 matchup against Davis keeper Alexes Garcia.

Ferris’ David Respold – who was in goal in place of starter Parker Stults, who ruptured his spleen in the district loss to Mead – made sure Peter’s two goals stood up by posting nine saves, including a couple of diving stops, in what Crain called a “outstanding” performance.

The only Davis player to get a shot past Respold was Ricardo Badillo, who picked up a lost ball near midfield and hit shot over Respold’s head from about 25 yards out.

Mead, the No. 1 regional seed out of the GSL, saw its 1-0 lead erased by a penalty kick by Chiawana’s Rene Solorio in the 78th minute, and then fell 4-3 in the shootout when Colin Shockman and Alex Hakes both missed their penalty shot tries.

The Panthers’ Ian Farley scored the game’s first goal in the 71st minute, heading a Colin Shockman crossing pass over the head of Riverhawks goalkeeper Javier Peralta. But Chiawana answered 6 minutes later with Solorio’s goal that tied the game and forced a pair of 5-minute overtime periods in which neither team was able to dominate.

“This was a hard one, for sure,” first-year Mead coach Kevin Houston said of the loss. “We played a good game, we were smart in how we played, and, for the most part, we did a pretty good defensively.

“Soccer is one of those games where a bounce here or bounce there at the wrong critical time can be devastating, and for us, today, that happened.”

LC, the GSL’s No. 3 regional seed, stunned Richland, the No. 1 seed from the Big Nine Columbia Basin League, when goalkeeper Cody Lang came up with three huge saves in the shootout, including the one that sent the shootout to sudden death and the one that made teammate Tony Buckley-Jones’ sudden-death shootout goal the winner.

Nick Doran and Cory Ames each had goals in regulation for the Tigers.

Both teams had decent scoring chances in the two overtimes, but a Richland shot that hit the post with 2 minutes left in the second forced the shootout.

C.B. Aunna scored goals five minutes apart in the second half, with his second goal giving University a 2-1 lead, but Eastmont scored two late goals off counterattacks to the Titans’ press to take a 3-2 victory.

Tyler Tran, Dustin Ferger, Jon Merkel, Jacob Fitterer, Connor Kinnune and Miles Rinne all converted in the shootout to give visiting East Valley its 6-5 edge over the Red Devils.

Tran also scored the Knights’ only goal in regulation, taking a low corner on the near post from Ferger and tucking it into the net in the 15th minute.

Ellensburg ended Pullman’s season by winning a shootout after both teams were scoreless in regulation.