Bonney Lake Panthers win state 3A boys state soccer title

Zach Jones kicked the ball that deflected off a Shorecrest defender into the goal at 2:44 May 25 at Sparks Stadium.

The Bonney Lake Panthers found the ticket to the goal and knocked off Shorecrest 1-0 to win the state 3A boys state crown at Sparks Stadium tonight, May 25.

The title is the first for the soccer program at Bonney Lake High School.

With 2 minutes, 44 seconds remaining in defensive battle, Zach Jones kicked the ball and it deflected into goal off a Shorecrest defender.

“I was just going trying to dump it in front of the keeper to see what would happen and it went on in,” Jones said. “All I can say is the soccer gods were on my side I guess.”

Bonney Lake appeared to score earlier, but the score was disallowed by an official.

Tyler John headed the ball into the goal in the second half with at about 25 minutes.

“I got header but he (the official) called it back for a foul,” John said.

Coach Luke Helling-Christy said of the winning goal, “The idea was right. We hit a low, driven ball and hopefully Tyler John would get on to it. He’s the guy we go for, but it went off their guy.”

The coach said on the first goal there was some pushing in the box, which caused the goal to be taken down.

“We were threatening and we persevered,” Helling-Christy said.

Bonney Lake won all 3A matches this season.The Panthers only loses were early in the season to 4A teams  nonleague teams.

“Today we were better defensively,” the coach said. “But usually we have the run in offensive play. It was a different day and we adjusted to the circumstances.”

The coach said the goal was to shut down the center and left midfielders and let offense take the game to the goal.

Shorecrest had several shots on the goal, including a shot that sailed wide right with about 20 seconds remaining, but the Panthers defense never broke.