Devin Gartner scored his first goal of the season for Lynden to snap a scoreless tie in the last minute of the first half. Fellow senior Nick Parris nailed his 25th goal in the final minute of the game to provide a memorable finish to a classic Class 2A Northwest District Tournament match-up.
Meanwhile, Sehome goalie Prithvi Randhawa and Lynden keeper Jonathan Lara provided all kinds of unorthodox acrobatics to save shot after shot after shot.
That’s the kind of game Lynden’s dramatic 2-1 win over Sehome was in the second round at district on Saturday before an enthralled gathering at Civic Stadium.
Parris, who was assisted by freshman Jackson Phillips, gave Randhawa suitable credit.
“He came out (of the goal mouth) and I just put it under him,” said Parris, who snapped a second-half streak of eight saves by Randhawa, who finished with 10. “He’s an excellent goalie and played really well.”
WHAT IT MEANS
Fourth-seeded Lynden (13-3-1) will face two-time defending state champion Archbishop Murphy (17-0) on the road Tuesday in the championship semifinals in Everett. Fifth-seeded Sehome (9-4-5), like rival Bellingham, now must win three consolation round games in a row to qualify for state and will begin the tough task against Burlington-Edison the same night. Burlington lost to Archbishop 7-0.
Only one team can qualify for state out of the consolation bracket, since both championship finalists qualify.
Samuel Pacheco-Rodriguez scored on a penalty kick in the 55th minute for a 1-1 tie. It was the first score for the Mariners in 135 minutes this season against Lara, who frustrated Sehome in a 0-0 Northwest Conference tie last month.
Lara finished with 10 saves, including a brilliant double save on the ground to deny Sehome’s Jacob Thomson in the 11th minute, setting the tone for a game with thrill after thrill.
Lara also made a sideways diving save to deprive Pacheco-Rodriguez of a goal to open the second half. It was a great shot and an even greater save.
GARTNER’S BIG MOMENT
Gartner, a talented midfielder, overcame concussion issues to resume playing soccer partway through this season for the first time since his freshman year.
“Ethan Jamison did a great jump of jumping and winning a header to send the ball to me,” said Gartner. “I was in the right place. A lot of guys could have made that shot.”
“Devin is Mr. Even-Keel around here,” Lynden coach Drew Smiley said of the steady senior.
Smiley also lauded freshman midfielder Austin Anderson. “I told him you can run from this or you can embrace it, and he embraced it,” Smiley said of the pressure of such a rugged test.
“This is the best set of teams I’ve ever seen at district. Every game is a blood bath,” said Smiley, in his 23rd season as coach. “And this great game is definitely in the top 10 for me. Sehome is very well-coached (by new coach Richard Henderson) and very well organized.”
Can Lynden cope with Archbishop Murphy?
“We always go into every game thinking we have a chance to win,” the effervescent Smiley said with an appropriate post-game smile.