Snohomish’s Jason Fairhurst celebrates a goal during a first round 3A state playoff game against Lakeside on May 16, 2017, at Snohomish High School. Snohomish won 5-2. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Snohomish’s Jason Fairhurst celebrates a goal during a first round 3A state playoff game against Lakeside on May 16, 2017, at Snohomish High School. Snohomish won 5-2. (Ian Terry / The Herald)

Snohomish routs Lakeside, advances to state soccer quarters

SNOHOMISH — After wreaking havoc on opposing defenses all season long, the Snohomish boys soccer team’s high-powered attack was uncharacteristically held in check during Saturday’s district-championship loss to Lynnwood.

But after rediscovering their offensive rhythm in Monday’s practice, the Panthers bounced back Tuesday night with yet another brilliant goal-scoring display.

Jason Fairhurst recorded two goals and an assist as Snohomish advanced to the Class 3A state quarterfinals with a 5-2 win over Lakeside in a first-round matchup of traditional state powers at Snohomish High School.

“These guys are really fun to watch when they get a good rhythm, and tonight was an example of that,” said first-year coach Matt Raney, who was a longtime assistant in the program prior to this season.

“There’s been points in the season where we’ve lost that rhythm and we’ve had to re-find it. Yesterday’s training session, it was found again. And it was so clear and so obvious. We’re going to look to find that rhythm from here on out.”

The victory advances the Panthers (16-3-0) to the state quarterfinals for the 15th time in the last 19 seasons.

Snohomish will travel to the Tri-Cities later this week to face Kamiakin (11-9-0), which entered the postseason with a losing record but has won four consecutive matches. With a victory over Kamiakin, the Panthers would earn their fifth consecutive state semifinal berth.

In years past, Snohomish’s powerful attack often centered on a few star players. But this season’s team features a balanced array of scoring options, and that certainly was evident Tuesday as four different Panthers found the back of the net.

“I think it causes grief for those who are trying to set up for us, being so balanced,” Raney said. “And our ability to shuffle players in and around the field makes it very difficult to recognize where the attack is coming from. It’s unpredictable.”

Fairhurst began the offensive fireworks in the eighth minute after corralling a throw-in from the left sideline. With his back facing the net, the senior captain gathered the ball, turned and fired home a right-footed rocket for the match’s first goal.

Seven minutes later, Jamie Young received a beautiful through-ball down the right sideline and drew a foul in the box. Logan Stapleton then calmly converted the ensuing penalty kick to give the Panthers a 2-0 lead just 15 minutes into the match.

Justin Blachman put Lakeside (11-8-1) on the board in the 25th minute, but Snohomish answered with another goal shortly before halftime. In the 35th minute, Felipe Cerna sent a cross-field pass to Fairhurst on the right side of the pitch, and the standout forward followed with a right-footed strike that deflected off the hands of Lakeside’s goalkeeper and into the net for a 3-1 Panthers lead.

“It’s a lot of communication, and just the trust that we have in one another,” Fairhurst said of his team’s attack. “We know where people are before we pick our heads up, just playing with guys for so long and (with) the camaraderie of the team.”

Midway through the second half, Snohomish defender Jordan Miller broke up a dangerous Lakeside scoring chance with a sliding save in front of the net that preserved the Panthers’ two-goal advantage.

One minute later, Snohomish sophomore Alex Stigenga broke open the match with a 59th-minute goal on a hard shot that deflected into the net.

Soon after, Fairhurst expertly kept the ball alive near the right corner flag and sent a cross into the box to Nathan Nicholson, who slotted home a 64th-minute goal that extended the Panthers’ lead to 5-1.

It was a major turnaround from Snohomish’s 4-1 district-title loss to Lynnwood on Saturday.

“These guys know that they’re not a product of a single moment, but a compilation of all these moments throughout the season,” Raney said. “And that’s what we’re seeing. Single moments like that loss to Lynnwood in the district final — we all wanted it, but it doesn’t define us, and we know it.

“And so out of that is born a greater determination to solve the puzzle, and tonight was a great example of that.”

Tuesday marked Raney’s first state-playoff victory as a head coach. He took over for longtime coach Dan Pingrey, who stepped down prior to this season after helping build the Panthers into a perennial state powerhouse.

But following the first-round rout, Raney gave all the credit to his players.

“You can set teams up, but they’re only as good as the execution of it,” Raney said, adding, “It boils down to each and every one of these guys doing their job. And tonight, they did their job.

“We encourage them to really focus on the details of their performance, and that the rest will take care of itself. And tonight, that performance was an ‘A.’”

Talk to us

More in Sports

The AquaSox' Noelvi Marte hits a double against the Spokane Indians at Funko Field on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021 in Everett, Washington. The Mariners promoted Marte from Low-A Modesto to High-A Everett on Monday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Top-prospect Marte heating up in 2nd half for AquaSox

After some early struggles, the young shortstop batted .350 with three homers and 13 RBI in the past 11 games for Everett.

Washington's Steve Emtman leaves the field displaying the numberone sign after Washington's 34-14 win over Michigan in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., Jan. 1, 1992. Emtman and Washington's quarterback Billy Joe Hobert were named co-MVPs of the game. (AP Photo/Bob Galbraith)
The Pac-12 will never be the same — and that’s sad for many

The dismantling of the conference hurts for those that have been fans for a long, long time.

Seattle Mariners infielders react after the Mariners defeated the San Diego Padres 6-2 in a baseball game Tuesday, July 5, 2022, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Mariners sweep Padres, move within 1 game of .500

Seattle beats San Diego 6-2 for its 12th win in its past 15 games.

Seattle Seahawks owner Jody Allen stands on a balcony at CenturyLink Field after she raised the 12th man flag before the team's NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Thursday, Oct. 3, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)
Jody Allen: Seahawks, Blazers not for sale at this time

The statement came amid growing speculation about the future ownership of the teams.

FILE - Germany's assistant coach Jessica Campbell stands behind players on the German bench during the group A Hockey World Championship match between France and Germany in Helsinki, Finland, Monday May 16, 2022. The Coachella Valley Firebirds have hired Jessica Campbell as the American Hockey League’s first female assistant coach. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File)
Kraken AHL team hires 1st female assistant in league history

Jessica Campbell will be behind the bench for the Coachella Valley Firebirds next season.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen of Everett poses with a soccer ball in front of the U.S. capitol building in Washington, D.C.. (Provided photo)
How Rep. Rick Larsen helped Seattle secure its 2026 World Cup bid

The longtime congressman isn’t solely responsible, but he played a small role in bringing the event to the Pacific Northwest.

Dream pull away in 3rd to beat Storm

Seattle never leads in a 90-76 loss to Atlanta.

AquaSox's manager, Louis Boyd, Funko Field at Everett Memorial Stadium in Everett on July 28, 2019. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
AquaSox fall to Canadians

Everett musters just two hits as Mariners outfielder Kyle Lewis makes a rehab appearance.

Kevin Clark / The Herald

***Silvertips Special Sections*****
Yan Khomenko signals for substitution Sunday night at Xfinity Arena in Everett, Wa on September 6th, 2015

Sports:  Silvertips Special Section
Shot on: 09/06/15
Silvertips add pair in CHL import draft

Everett selects Czechian forward Dominik Rymon with pick 57 and Swiss goalie Tim Metzger 117th overall.

Most Read