Nothing has come easy in the last two weeks for the Lewis and Clark boys soccer team.
Narrow losses to GSL rivals Ferris and Central Valley … gut-check postseason wins at Walla Walla and Hanford … and now this:
The Tigers utterly dominated Richland in Thursday’s 4A loser-out regional match at Albi Stadium, yet appeared to be heading toward overtime with five minutes left.
“Seems like we created enough to score five or six goals, but that’s soccer,” LC Mica Lamb said with a smile.
Lamb was smiling because the Tigers were rescued with four minutes left in the match. Junior forward Jared Mehaffey found space on the left side, juked one defender and shot past Richland keeper Jake Voordepoorte to give LC a dramatic 2-1 win.
“It felt great,” Mahaffey said. “We’d been missing a few opportunities … but I just left-footed a cross shot and hoped it goes in.”
Now the Tigers (15-4) are one win from state. Next up is a Saturday trip to top-ranked Pasco, which fell to Central Valley 2-1 in the regional title match Thursday night in Pasco.
“We just have to go in Saturday and press hard,” said junior defender Zak Deutschman, who helped lead a defense that for the second straight match didn’t give up a goal in the run of play.
The Tigers came out strongly against a Richland team that was making its third trip to Spokane in eight days. They struck eight shots in the first half, but Voordepoorte came off his line for several big saves.
LC broke through in the final minute of the half as Mehaffey passed to Ethan Sieveke, who cut across the goalmouth and rightfooted the ball into the goal from 15 yards.
Seconds later, the unthinkable happened. A foul at the top of the LC box led to a freekick opportunity for Richland, and Jason Pietrok took full advantage with a perfect strike.
Central Valley 2, Richland 1: On the road against the top-ranked team in the state, the Bears didn’t flinch even after falling behind in the first half.
“We never give up – that shows how resilient we are,” said coach Andres Monrroy, whose club will play a first-round state match Tuesday at Spokane Falls Community College. The opponent is still to be determined.
Pasco took a 1-0 lead in the 30th minute, “but we adjusted,” said Monrroy, who got the equalizer from Avery Clark in the 50th minute and the eventual winner on a penalty kick goal seven minutes later from Rudy Stretch.
Pasco outshot CV 11 to 6, but couldn’t mount a serious threat in the second half, Monrroy said.