Third time’s a charm … defense wins championships … play with a chip on your shoulder.
The Lewis and Clark soccer team turned all those clichés to their advantage Thursday night in a 1-0 win at Central Valley that also sends the Tigers to the State 4A playoffs for the first time in five years.
“This is great … a new legacy for LC,” said senior forward Adam Thompson, whose stoppage-time goal gave the Tigers their first win over CV in three tries this season.
The first two meetings provided plenty of offense – mostly for CV, which won 4-3 in the Greater Spokane League finale and 3-1 last week at district.
“We tried twice to outscore them and it hasn’t worked out for us. We tried to be more defensive-minded this time, and I think it frustrated them, said LC coach Mica Lamb.
Want another cliché? LC earned this one; the Tigers have been in loser-out mode all month and were playing their sixth match in less than two weeks.
“We haven’t had a legitimate practice in two weeks, but our boys love to play soccer, so it’s all good,” said Lamb, whose team will play at Pasco at 1 p.m. on Saturday for the regional title.
Win or lose, the Tigers will host a first-round state playoff game next week. Central Valley, the GSL and district champ, faces a winner-to-state, loser-out game on Saturday against, Ferris, which lost 3-1 at Pasco.
The CV-Ferris match is tentatively scheduled for 11 a.m. at Spokane Falls Community College.
Playing on a gorgeous spring evening in front of 300 fans, the Tigers (16-3) seemed a step slow as CV dominated the run of play.
The Bears (13-3) had several good chances in the first half, which sometimes resembled a siege. Their best chances came a few minutes apart midway through the half, including a cross that goalkeeper Josh Via managed to scoop out of harm’s way.
Via finished with nine saves; CV’s Kendall Findley had three.
The pressure increased in the second half as CV began to push forward.
“We felt these guys had the pressure on them,” said LC defender Charlie Rieger, who headed several passes out of danger. “We changed our game plan a bit, pulled a few more guys back and counted on our counters,” Rieger said.
The Tigers had several decent chances after failed attacks, but Thompson and Jared Mehaffey shot over the crossbar late in the second half.
But with the match seemingly headed toward overtime, the Tigers got a four-man break in stoppage time. Defender Bryan Maxwell’s shot caromed off a CV defender and landed at the feet of Thompson, who thought he’d played a “terrible” game to that point.
“But I was patient, and my chance came,” said Thompson, who faked Findley into diving the wrong way and pushed a 10-yard shot into the left side of the net.
Pasco 3, Ferris 1: The Mid-Columbia Conference champion Bulldogs outshot the Saxons 17 to 8 en route to a spot in the regional title game.
Playing on their home field at Edgar Brown Stadium, the Bulldogs (15-1) took a 1-0 lead just three minutes before halftime. Pasco doubled the lead in the 54th minute.
Ferris (10-5) got one back in the 74th minute on a goal from Curt McCune, but Pasco added an insurance goal with three minutes left in the match.
James Mann made nine saves for Ferris.