By David Krueger Herald Writer
SNOHOMISH — There was no rattling the Snohomish boys soccer team Tuesday night.
The Panthers didn’t panic after an early 2-0 deficit. They weren’t fazed when Lake Stevens tied the score in the 63rd minute.
And when overtime started, Snohomish wasn’t worried.
Blake Crutchfield needed about two minutes of overtime to score the game’s seventh goal Tuesday night, this one giving the Panthers a 4-3 win in a constant rain at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
Like his players, Snohomish head coach Dan Pingrey said he was never concerned.
“No. This is a good team. We really are,” Pingrey said. “We’ve played three really tough matches. ? When it’s all said and done these guys can sort it out.”
Lake Stevens struck first with a goal by Marcus Edward just eight minutes into the match. The Vikings’ James Tanner got the ball, dribbled down the field and passed it off to Edward, who got past the Snohomish defenders and gave Lake Stevens the early lead.
The Vikings added another goal on a 25-yard free kick by John Erickson in the 25th minute.
Snohomish responded with a goal by Jose Gaspar less than a minute later. Crutchfield shot the ball at the goal and it was deflected by Vikings’ goalkeeper Brennen Countryman, but Gaspar was there to boot the deflection back into the net.
The Panthers tied it up in the 34th minute when Tyler Mayer scored the first of his two goals, collecting the ball after it bounced off a Lake Stevens defender. Halftime came with score 2-2.
“They started out rough and ultimately they came back,” Pingrey said of his players. “At halftime we said, ‘Okay, we’re at 0-0. Reset. Let’s go from there.’”
Snohomish scored its third consecutive goal in the 55th minute when Mayer got behind the Vikings’ defense and took a pass from Dekotah Keough. The Panthers’ first lead ended eight minutes later after Erickson scored his second goal of the game on a penalty kick for Lake Stevens.
The 3-3 score held for the rest of regulation and about two minutes into overtime when Crutchfield got the ball in a crowd of players in front of the Lake Stevens’ net and scored the game-winner.
“I told the guys I don’t care how it goes in the net,” Pingrey said. “If we’re putting balls in and you get deflections on shots, that’s how you get opportunities. They took advantage of that.”
Snohomish received an advantage in the 68th minute, when a Lake Stevens player was given two yellow cards — resulting in a red card — and sent off the field. The Viking player intentionally drop kicked a ball a long distance away after a whistle had been blown, and then argued with the referee afterwards resulting in the penalty.
Pingrey said that having a one-man advantage certainly helped his team, but he was leery because he thinks something like that can rally the team that was just penalized.
“I’ve played in enough and coached enough games where the team down often has an advantage because now they’ve got a reason to fight,” Pingrey said. “You saw that. They’re going to play and they’re going to play hard. They came out attacking right away, even though they were a man down.”
The Vikings continued to attack until Crutchfield, a Panthers’ sophomore forward, ended the game 2 minutes and 17 seconds into the extra period.
Snohomish (3-0 league, 4-0 overall) was able to fend off the Lake Stevens (1-1, 1-1-2) attack, and remain undefeated. The game was just another early season test for the Panthers, going against their division rival for the first time.
“It’s always huge. Games like this,” Pingrey said. “These are big-time rivalries. We’ve had some good results. ? This year we’ve come up against some good physical teams and done well. This is a great test. Obviously, we’ll take the result and that can make a huge difference at the end of the year.”
While the game was exciting for fans, Pingrey wasn’t thrilled that his team allowed Lake Stevens three goals. Still, he said he’ll take it as long as Snohomish comes out on top.
“These kind of games are fun for the fans. I don’t like seeing three goals (scored) against us — we take a little bit of pride, we take a lot of pride in getting a (shutout),” Pingrey said with a smile. “Obviously, tonight that didn’t happen. But the win’s still a good feeling.”
At Veterans Memorial Stadium, Snohomish
Goals—Marcus Edward (LS), John Erickson (LS) 2, Jose Gaspar (S), Tyler Mayer (S) 2. Assists—James Tanner (LS), Blake Crutchfield (S), Dekotah Keough (S). Goalkeepers—Lake Stevens: Brennen Countryman. Snohomish: Luke Riske, Ryan Peters. Records—Lake Stevens 1-1league, 1-1-2 overall. Snohomish 3-0, 4-0.