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Saxons’ fast start doesn’t hold up

VANCOUVER, Wash. – A fast start wasn’t enough to offset a disastrous finish for Ferris as Union of Vancouver beat the Saxons 3-1 in a State 4A boys soccer quarterfinal playoff game Saturday night.

Ferris scored its lone goal less than 3 minutes into the game. But Union ended the Saxons’ season when it scored two goals during the game’s final 16 minutes, starting with Ashton Rimer’s short-range score that snapped a 1-1 tie.

Ferris (13-6) was aiming for its second 4A semifinals appearance in four years. Instead, Union (15-2-4) advances to the semifinal round, where the Titans will play Roosevelt.

For 60 minutes, Ferris battled on even terms with Union. Then the game clearly steered in the Titans’ favor. It could have been the Saxons’ 7-hour bus ride to Vancouver earlier in the day, or an injury-depleted roster that caused Ferris to falter.

“It’s hard to say. We didn’t have our legs today. We didn’t show up,” Ferris junior forward Matt Beaulaurier said. “We’ve been playing well. But eventually, you’re going to get unlucky. This wasn’t our day.

“They’re a tough, physical team, and you could tell they wore us down in the second half.”

Ferris had Union on its heels during the game’s third minute, when Beaulaurier scored on a 7-yard header off a free kick. The Saxons’ 1-0 lead lasted 10 minutes, as Union leveled the game at the 13th minute with the tying goal on a 30-yard free-kick rocket by Mitch Wheelon.

“That goal kind of gave us a little bit of a letdown. It took us a while to get back into it mentally,” Ferris coach Robin Crain said.

The Saxons’ undoing came right after an offensive attack during the 64th minute. Union countered and caught Ferris with some disorganization on defense. Saxons defender Tucker VanTatenhove nearly saved the day when he cleared a ball from going into the goal, but Rimer was there to score on a short rebound to put the Titans ahead 2-1.

Union finished Ferris during the 76th minute when Wheelon scored his second goal on a 10-yard header to the far post.

Crain lamented what could have been had it not been for a few impactful injuries of late, but said finishing among the state’s final eight was admirable.

“It’s been a good season. We did a lot of great things this year. When we were 100 percent healthy, we were pretty tough to beat,” Crain said.

Cheney 2, Grandview 0: Daniel Bogaert scored the Blackhawks’ first goal and then assisted on Micah Weber’s score as Cheney reached the State 2A semifinals with a 2-0 win over host Grandview. Joe Scott made eight saves in posting the shutout.

Cheney will play Ridgefield at Sumner on Friday.