Panthers roll Tide

SNOHOMISH — With their squad mired in a rare funk and their season in serious danger of ending, Ashley Tombelaine and Juliet Desmarais went to work.

They sure got the job done.

Tombelaine and Desmarais connected for two goals in the final 16 minutes Tuesday, lifting the Snohomish High School girls soccer team to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over the Gig Harbor Tides in a Class 4A first-round state tournament game at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Desmarais, a junior midfielder, assisted on Tombelaine’s team-leading ninth and 10th goals of the season to propel Snohomish (16-1-1) to the quarterfinals. The Panthers play Woodinville (15-4) 7 p.m. Friday at Veterans Memorial.

“We didn’t come out strong and I think we knew we had to pick it up. Something changed and we all dug down deep inside ourselves and we had to find a way to (win),” said Tombelaine, a junior forward.

Everything changed when Tombelaine snuck a shot by Gig Harbor goalkeeper Kaitlyn Savage with 15 minutes, 50 seconds to go. Savage partially blocked Tombelaine’s one-on-one shot and the ball rolled slowly toward the net. It barely crossed the goal line before Tides defender Sara Wirth caught up to it.

Then with 4:20 remaining, Desmarais kicked a crossing pass to the middle and Tombelaine headed it into the net for what turned out to be the game-winner.

Snohomish had a rough start (one shot and zero corner kicks in a scoreless first half) but it made some adjustments and recovered in time to prolong its season. That’s what mattered most to Panthers coach Dan Pingrey.

“We are a team that can play very pretty … but when it’s all said and done I don’t care whether it’s pretty, ugly — I don’t care what it takes. Find a way to win the game,” Pingrey said.

After 41-plus minutes of scoreless soccer, Allie Branham gave Gig Harbor the lead early in the second half with a rebound shot. The senior forward was positioned perfectly after Snohomish keeper Madison Goverde knocked down an initial shot. Branham zoomed in and scored on a follow-up shot.

Snohomish finally connected late in the final half.

Before scoring her first goal, Tombelaine appeared close to being offsides, a violation that occurs when an offensive player who does not have the ball gets behind all the defenders (not including the keeper) and receives a pass. Offensive players are allowed to run behind the defense only after a teammate’s pass is already in the air.

The officials ruled Tombelaine was not offsides. But Phillips, Gig Harbor’s coach, disagreed and plans to contact the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association.

“I have a video (and) I’m protesting it. And we’ll see what’s gonna happen,” said Phillips.

Tombelaine said she saw a Gig Harbor defender in the far corner that was even with her, which would have prevented Tombelaine from being offsides.

Snohomish’s offense should get a boost Friday because senior forward Lacee Ross (six goals, seven assists) will return, Pingrey said. Ross missed the past five games after violating school district rules, said Pingrey.

At Veterans Memorial Stadium

Goals—Gig Harbor: Branham. Snohomish: Tombelaine 2. Assists—Gig Harbor: Graybeal. Snohomish: Desmarais 2. Goalkeepers—Gig Harbor: Savage. Snohomish: Goverde. Records—Gig Harbor 9-4-1 overall. Snohomish 16-1-1.

Contact Herald Writer Mike Cane at mcane@heraldnet.com. For more high school sports news, check out the prep sports blog Double Team at www.heraldnet.com/doubleteam.

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