Inglemoor stuns defending champ Snohomish, 1-0

SNOHOMISH – For the Inglemoor Vikings it was sweet revenge. For the Snohomish Panthers it was a shocking ending to another sensational season.

Playing on the same field they had lost on a year ago, the Inglemoor Vikings avenged a 3-2 first-round 4A state tournament loss to Snohomish with a stunning 1-0 quarterfinal win Friday over the nationally ranked Panthers at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

The Vikings (14-3-2) needed just one goal – a first-half goal by senior Brendan Cloyd – to hand the reigning 4A state champion just its second loss of the season.

Snohomish (17-2) had entered the game ranked No. 8 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America/adidas poll.

“For us this is huge because last year we were in the state tournament and we got beat by these guys in the first round,” Inglemoor head coach Bryan McNiel said.

“Senior year, I’m not about to go out the same way to the same guys. My pride can’t take that,” said Cloyd.

Inglemoor came out of the gates looking and playing like it wanted this game more.

“They came out and played a hard game,” Snohomish head coach Dan Pingrey said, “They didn’t play afraid, did what they’re supposed to do and as a result they ended up getting an early goal.”

The Vikings controlled the ball most of the first half and took advantage of errant Panther passes.

“We didn’t settle the ball and I give them credit for making it difficult,” Pingrey said.

Cloyd and the Vikings made the Panthers pay for a defensive lapse with about 15 minutes remaining in the half by getting a two-on-one breakaway and grabbing a 1-0 lead.

“The goal was a mistake,” Pingrey said, referring to the defensive miscue.

Cloyd received the ball near midfield and zig-zagged his way past a defender before scoring from about 20 yards out.

“Once I got the second turn on (the defender) I knew I had to finish it from there. I kept it low and punched it in,” the senior midfielder said.

Snohomish started the game without senior forward Brandon Kelley in the lineup.

Kelley, who hurt his knee in Snohomish’s 3-0 first-round win over Emerald Ridge, was sporting a knee brace and didn’t enter the game until 20 minutes into the first half.

Pingrey said the decision to play Kelley was a “tough decision” and that Kelley “really wasn’t functional but you hope for something to happen.”

The recently named Gatorade 2006-07 Washington State Boys Soccer Player of the Year, Kelley, who scored 21 goals this season, never appeared at full strength missing a shot from 6 yards out with two minutes remaining in the half and shooting wide right on two other near misses in the second half.

The first-half goal against Snohomish marked just the second time all season that the Panthers had trailed in a game.

The last time the Panthers trailed 1-0 was also their last loss, a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Cascade on April 13.

It was a tough loss for the Panthers, a team many thought was good enough to become the first 4A team to repeat as state champions since Decatur won back-to-back titles in 2001-02.

“We have 11 seniors that worked their tails off. This team was too good. We didn’t play as good as we have played, but nobody expected this,” Pingrey said.

Meanwhile, across the field the Inglemoor Vikings were celebrating this win like they had just won a championship.

“It feels like a championship,” McNiel said about knocking off the defending champs, “You could see the intensity in the way they played. I could feel the passion.”

At Snohomish Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Goals-Inglemoor: Cloyd. Goalkeepers-Inglemoor: Eriksson. Snohomish: Johnson. Records-Inglemoor 14-3-2 overall. Snohomish 17-2.

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