Best finish ever for Wolfpack boys | Soccer
Last updated 6/7/2019 at Noon
Jackson shook off the disappointment of a tough semifinal loss to rebound and take third place at the 4A state boys soccer tournament.
With his team trailing 1-0, Wolfpack senior Jacob Williams scored the tying goal and teammate Mohammed Ismail punched in the winning penalty kick in the eighth round of a shootout to lift the Timberwolves to a 2-1 victory over Ferris in the third/fourth place contest Saturday, May 25, at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
Junior goalkeeper Justin Huttinger made what Jackson coach Sarah Smart described as a “phenomenal save” to give his team the opportunity for the win.
Saturday’s victory came less than 24 hours after a 4-0 loss to eventual champion Puyallup in a semifinal clash. The Vikings edged Mount Si 2-1 in the finals later on Saturday.
Smart was proud of her players’ resiliency following Friday’s tough defeat.
“They showed a lot character, grit and determination and a lot of heart,” Smart said. “After a devastating loss, they persevered. They worked together well. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, they found a way to work together and accomplished their goals.”
Even though they weren’t playing for a state title, the players wanted to go out on a high note.
“That’s such an important thing we stressed after the loss to Puyallup,” Smart said. “We’re not competing for a state championship, but we’re still going to end the season on our terms.”
Smart added that in some ways the third/fourth game is a harder game to play than the finals.
“You have to do a little bit of soul searching,” she said. “Why do we play this game? Well, this is our last chance to play together. To us it meant everything. We just played our hearts out and got rewarded.”
The third-place finish is the highest ever for the program and capped an unforgettable season for Jackson and first-year head coach Smart, who is the head coach for the girls team and previously was an assistant for the boys team.
The Timberwolves (18-2-1) won the Wesco 4A title and the Wes-King District crown. Jackson defeated state runner-up Mount Si 3-2 in the district title contest.
The Wolfpack outscored their league rivals 45-6 and all of their opponents 65-14. The team’s last appearance at state was in 2011.
“I think we exceeded expectations,” Smart said. “I’m over the moon with how the season turned out. This was a group of hardworking young men who really cared about each other. They really flourished in that team setting.”