The race for the 4A boys soccer title in the Greater Spokane League was the difference of one game. The battle for the final two spots in the district playoffs was even closer than that.
The league title was determined on April 19, when Central Valley edged Ferris 2-1 on an overtime goal by Jensen Shypitka. The reason for overtime? Ferris benefited from an own goal in the 50th minute.
It wasn’t a defensive stalemate, either: Ferris junior goalie Jadon Bowton made 14 saves, while CV senior keeper Logan Coddington turned away four shots on goal.
Both teams won out, so the Bears (8-0-1-0, 26 points) took the title, while the Saxons (8-1-0-0) settled for second.
They will both host first-round District 8 games against Mid-Columbia Conference foes on Thursday. Central Valley faces MCC No. 4 Richland at 4 p.m. at Albi Stadium, and Ferris plays MCC No. 3 Walla Walla at 5 p.m. at Gonzaga Prep.
There was a four-way tie for third place when the regular season wrapped up, necessitating two tiebreakers on Monday to determine the other two playoff seeds.
In the early game, Maddox Marcelli scored twice and Lewis and Clark (5-3-0-1, 16 points) blanked Mead (4-3-2-0, 16 points) 5-0 to secure the third seed. Lucas Goeller earned the shutout with 10 saves for the Tigers, who will travel to face MCC No. 2 seed Pasco.
Later, Chris Peretti scored in the 48th minute and visiting Gonzaga Prep (5-3-0-1) beat University (5-3-0-1) to take the last spot. The Bullpups advanced to play MCC top seed Chiawana.
The 3A race was tight as well. North Central and Mt. Spokane finished with identical 3-6-0-0 records, but the Indians took the top stop by virtue of a 1-0 win over the Wildcats on April 12. In that one, Marcus Abdel-Malek scored at the 22-minute mark and freshman goalie Jason Kruse made seven saves to earn a clean sheet.
NC will host a second-round match at Albi Stadium on Saturday at 6 p.m., while Mt. Spokane hosts Kennewick at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Shadle Park (1-8-0-0) is the third seed. The Highlanders knocked off Rogers (0-9-0-0) 4-0 on April 10 as the difference-maker. Gage Smith had a goal and an assist in Shadle’s win.
The Highlanders play at MCC No. 3 Kamiakin at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
Cheney (7-0-1-0) wrapped up the Great Northern League title last week and will host the district title game on May 7.
Clarkston (5-3-0-0, 15 points) secured the second seed with a 2-1 victory over Pullman on Monday. Steve Beiye and Theo Beiye had a goal and assist apiece and the visiting Bantams edged the Greyhounds (4-2-0-1, 13 points).
Clarkston hosts No. 5 seed West Valley (0-7-1-0) while Pullman hosts fourth-seeded East Valley (2-5-0-1), with both matches at 4 p.m. on Thursday.
League champion Lakeside (11-0-0-0) hosts fourth-seeded Medical Lake (4-4-0-1), while second-seeded Colville (6-4-2-0) hosts No. 3 Deer Park (6-5-0-1) in first-round games on Thursday. The winners face each other in the district title game on May 8, with both teams advancing to crossover games against the Caribou Trail League on May 11.