State boys soccer: Liam Kelly’s header in double overtime lifts Ferris over Pasco in quarterfinal

May 19, 2019

In a heated, physical State 4A quarterfinal battle on Saturday, Ferris saw chance after chance sail wide or hit a post. Regulation – and the first overtime – ended deadlocked, and Saxons never let off the gas.

Liam Kelly’s header – off a rebound off the crossbar – with less than a minute left in the second overtime lifted Ferris over visiting Pasco 3-2 to earn a spot in the final four at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.

Ferris faces the winner of Saturday’s late game between Mount Si and Issaquah in a semifinal on Friday at 6 p.m.

“We’ve been looking forward to this ever since season started,” Ferris goalie Jadon Bowton said. “Our goal was to go to state final four. And we work every day, in practice, work as hard as we can. And it paid off.”

Ferris and Pasco traded quality scoring chances in the first two minutes of the first overtime, with the Saxons’ Tyler Holland pushing a shot wide on the short side off a cross from Nathan Owen.

Pasco’s Joey Esquivel-Rodriguez almost ended it a minute later but his right-footed blast from the top of the box sailed just with right.

Nearing the end of the second overtime, Ferris earned a throw-in from deep on the left wing. The ball came into the box and Caden Martin’s header popped off the crossbar to Kelly, who tucked it behind goalie Daniel Puga for the game-winner.

“We had so many chances to finish it in the second half,” Ferris coach Robin Crain said. “You know, we just just didn’t put it away and it was sooner or later that one would go in. I was just hopeful that ours was before theirs.”

“I had no idea what happened,” Bowton said. “I mean, it was crazy up in the other box. I saw headers, a header hit a crossbar then came down. I didn’t know if the keeper had it, or who touched it or who was even up there.

“But I saw everyone cheering so I ran up and cheered with them.”

Pasco started the scoring in the 11th minute with a goal by Sergio Gutierrez. Ferris answered in the 25th minute as McCoy Spink was fouled on a loose ball just outside the Pasco box, and Martin’s perfectly placed free kick tied it.

“Great heads up goal for the first free kick that put us back even,” Crain said. “And then (Martin) just played his heart out the whole time.”

The Saxons went up 2-1 early in the second half as Martin’s cross found Holland on the far side and the midfielder calmly tapped it in for the lead.

Ferris had several chances through the middle of the second half, including Martin banging one off the far post from point-blank range.

Tempers flared at midfield with 10 minutes to go after Owen was fouled hard on a high ball and yellow cards were exchanged.

“Really physical,” Crain said. “Especially with Pasco. I mean, it’s a long history between us. They played hard. We played hard and it’s an emotional game.”

With 4 minutes remaining in regulation, Pasco earned a corner kick and Alejandro Vega’s short offering skipped though the box where Jonas Olvera was able to collect it and put it past Bowton for the equalizer.

“The defense did a really good job of getting it out of there,” Bowton said. “And they did their job, for the most part. I did what I could to keep the ball out of the net, but they slide by every now and then.”

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