SHORELINE — Lynnwood’s history-making week just keeps getting better.
The Royals on Tuesday dispatched previously undefeated Squalicum to clinch their first state berth since 1986, setting up a 3A District 1 Tournament title matchup against perennial Wesco power Snohomish.
Talk about a difference in pedigree. The Panthers entered the title game having missed state once since the new millennium. Lynnwood, on the other hand, had never won a district title.
That was until Saturday night when the Royals engineered a second-half scoring barrage they surely won’t soon forget, shocking Snohomish with a 4-1 win on the rain-soaked turf at Shoreline Stadium.
“We’ve been working on this since the beginning, and here is the result,” Lynnwood fourth-year coach Pablo Mummey said. “It’s fun to watch.”
Lynnwood trailed 1-0 at halftime, but once the second half began, the Royals’ attack began slowly and powerfully building. Patrick Kreider tied the game in the 47th minute, Henry Gonzalez gave Lynnwood a lead seven minutes later and Ryley Johnson and Dane Evanger put the game out of reach with goals in the final 10 minutes.
Everything went Lynnwood’s way, nothing broke right for Snohomish.
“We lost during the regular season (to Snohomish), so we came out with the mindset of revenge,” Lynnwood defender Diego Aragon said. “It was a final. We knew we had to play hard. We weren’t scared. We just had to play our game straight and did what we can do.”
Both teams entered Saturday’s final already having clinched state berths. Lynnwood sealed District 1’s top seed with the victory, while Snohomish will enters the Round of 16 as District 1’s No. 2 seed.
Through the first 40 minutes, Snohomish seemed to have the match well under control. The Panthers registered several scoring chances, and took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute off a goal from team captain Jason Fairhurst, who was assisted by Logan Stapleton.
To Lynnwood’s credit, it never let down, and following a halftime talk where Mummey reiterated the team’s game plan of spreading the Panthers out and exploiting their defense, the Royals began peppering Snohomish’s goal with chance after chance.
“I’m actually surprised we got four,” Mummey said. “I would have been OK with two.”
Lynnwood’s first goal came on an effort play from Kreider. The senior forward was tracking a ball heading toward the Snohomish goal, but a defender was jockeying and had better position on the ball than Kreider. As Panthers keeper Cole Strickland approached the ball, Kreider slid and just poked it with his foot past Strickland and the defender who seemed caught off guard.
Gonzalez put the Royals in front in the 54th minute with a low-liner from 25 yards out past Strickland, who just got a glove on the ball but not enough to keep it out of the net.
Johnson scored off a cross on a free kick in the 71st, and Evanger beat Srickland on a one-on-one opportunity in the 76th, capping a brilliant second-half effort.
All the while Lynnwood’s defense—headlined by Aragon, Jon Ceja-Torres, Brian Uribe and Omar Salcedo-Martinez—repelled Snohomish time and again once the Panthers truly began pressing for a score.
The loss snapped a 10-match win streak for Snohomish, but coach Matt Raney said he doesn’t see the loss as a setback.
“I’m just as hungry now moving forward as I was when I came into tonight, and so is the crew,” Raney said. “This is obviously not the result they wanted, but without a doubt (Lynnwood) is a good side. We respect that. We beat them up. They beat us up. I think we are both ready for state.”