Glacier Peak’s Azavier Coppin is slide tackled by Jackson’s Sam Russel during the game on Friday, April 28, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Azavier Coppin is slide tackled by Jackson’s Sam Russel during the game on Friday, April 28, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Jackson clinches Wesco 4A title with draw against Glacier Peak

A pair of goals from freshmen help the Timberwolves rally from a 2-0 deficit.

EVERETT — It was senior night for the Jackson High School boys soccer team, but it was a pair of freshmen who came away with the biggest moments.

Anthony Gonzalez-Marroquin netted a momentum-shifting goal in first-half stoppage time, Brady McPherson scored the equalizer early in the second and the Timberwolves held on for a 2-2 draw against Glacier Peak to clinch the Wesco 4A title Friday night at Everett Memorial Stadium.

“It means a lot,” senior midfielder Vitality Nagornyy said of winning a championship. “… It’s just crazy.”

Early on it looked as if the Timberwolves’ title hopes were in jeopardy after a strong start by the Grizzlies, who needed a win Friday and another Monday against Lake Stevens to claim the championship. GP controlled the ball and came away with most of the dangerous looks at the goal in the first half.

The Grizzlies (6-4-2 overall, 4-2-1 Wesco 4A) opened the scoring 14 minutes in when midfielder Liam Smith rose up between a pair of Jackson (11-6-0, 7-1-0) defenders and put home a header off a free kick for a 1-0 lead.

Glacier Peak’s Liam Smith celebrates a goal during the game against Jackson on Friday, April 28, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Liam Smith celebrates a goal during the game against Jackson on Friday, April 28, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

The Timberwolves nearly answered back in the 23rd minute, but GP keeper Austin Riechelson denied an open look with a diving save to his left.

The Grizzlies added to their lead in the 33rd minute on a beautiful set up by defender Kollin Undseth. The junior rocketed a deep ball over the Jackson defense and in front of the net for forward Azavier Coppin, who finished off the chance with a header for a 2-0 advantage.

Coppin tried to go top shelf moments later with a well-placed shot from about 2o yards out, but Jackson keeper Ben Ferguson leapt in the air and went full extension for a crucial stop.

Riechelson came up with another big save for the Grizzlies in the 39th minute, but the Timberwolves remained relentless on the attack registered a much-needed goal heading into the break.

Glacier Peak’s Dylan Bryant and Jackson’s Vitaliy Nagomyy fights for the ball during the game on Friday, April 28, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Dylan Bryant and Jackson’s Vitaliy Nagomyy fights for the ball during the game on Friday, April 28, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Midfielder Archie Dhima centered a pass in front of the net for Gonzalez-Marroquin and the freshman finished off the chance with his left foot to cut GP’s lead to 2-1 with just moments remaining in the first half.

“That was important,” Jackson coach Eddie Fernandez said. “Obviously Glacier Peak got the 2-0 advantage, which was frustrating. So to get that goal right before halftime gave us that belief.”

After a few dangerous looks early in the second, the Timberwolves got the all-important equalizer in the 47th minute. McPherson loaded up from 25 yards out and rifled a laser into the top left corner of the net to force a 2-2 tie.

“It’s always exciting to see the big bangers go in like that,” Fernandez said. “… I love the fact that he didn’t hesitate. He just smacked it.”

Both teams created scoring chances down the stretch of the second half but couldn’t convert and headed to overtime.

The Grizzlies came away with the best look in the two extra periods when Coppin closed in on the net in the 82nd minute, but Ferguson came up and made an aggressive stop that helped seal the draw and a title for Jackson.

Jackson goalie Ben Ferguson blocks a shot during the game against Glacier Peak on Friday, April 28, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Jackson goalie Ben Ferguson blocks a shot during the game against Glacier Peak on Friday, April 28, 2023 in Snohomish, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Ferguson, who was also celebrating his 18th birthday, recorded seven saves.

“Our defense is playing hard out there and Ben is the anchor of that in goal,” Fernandez said. “He makes those one or two saves a game that keep us in it.”

The league championship is Jackson’s second in the past three full-length seasons. The Timberwolves last conference title came in 2019.

“Glacier Peak battled. They came to play and we had to match their intensity and match their work rate, and it took us a while,” Fernandez said. “Senior night is always kind of crazy … so it took us a while to get our feet underneath us, and Glacier Peak took advantage of that. But I was proud of our guys and the way we battled back.”

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