Garfield senior defender Josh Chestnut nailed a header at the far post off a long free kick by Oscar Harding in the 78th minute as the Bulldogs handed Roosevelt heartbreak 2-1.
PUYALLUP — The Roosevelt High School boys soccer team backed up the hype almost all season. And, the Roughriders wanted to back up the expectation of grabbing a second state title in a row.
But the Garfield Bulldogs had other ideas.
The Roughriders were ranked as high as No. 4 nationally until Metro League rival Garfield took them down in a shootout in the league tournament on May 11.
That only added fuel to the rivalry in the first boys soccer state-championship game featuring a pair of Metro League schools.
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Garfield senior defender Josh Chestnut nailed a header at the far post off a long free kick by Oscar Harding in the 78th minute as the Bulldogs handed Roosevelt 2-1 heartbreak Saturday afternoon in an entertaining and chippy Class 3A state-championship match at Sparks Stadium.
“It’s been a rivalry the whole time I’ve been at Garfield, and we hadn’t beat them once in four years until this year,” said Chestnut, whose game-winning goal was just his third of the season. “When we get down 1-0 to a good team, then we know we have to play our absolute best ball. It’s hard to get goals against Roosevelt. They have a really good back line.
“I think it brings out the best in us. It pushes us to our absolute limit.”
The Bulldogs rallied from a 1-0 deficit with two goals in the final 12 minutes. Tommy Tolgu had the equalizer in the 68th minute.
“I had a coach (Reed Miller) tell me to score the game-winner,” said Chestnut, who celebrated his 19th birthday. “I just saw a really good ball from Oscar. I got in the right spot. I was untouched, unmarked. I just put it low and hard.”
Senior goalkeeper Brian Doherty came up with seven saves, including six in the second half. He had two key saves during added time to preserve the school’s first state title in the sport.
The Bulldogs, who finished 17-1-4 this season, lost to Interlake 1-0 in the 3A title match in 2015 when many players on the team were freshmen under coach Carlos Enriquez, who finally got his state title.
“This was an absolute perfect season for us,” Chestnut said. “We were the underdogs the whole time. No one expected us to win the Metro final, and no one expected us to win this game. Roosevelt was on everyone’s radar, and we knew that.”
The Riders (21-2) went in front 1-0 when senior defender Hayden Barnow poked in a bouncing ball at the near left post after Avery Jacobson served in a nicely placed corner kick in the fifth minute. The goal was just the second of the season for Barnow.
“Seattle soccer is on the rise, and I’ve said it before that a lot of it has to do with the unified club we have now in Seattle with Seattle United starting back in 2009,” Enriquez said. “That’s developed a lot, and it’s definitely showing in the high-school league.
“We’re so proud of the work that this team has done.”
Junior Jacen Stein rang up a hat trick as Redmond (17-4) equaled the school’s highest state finish (1985) by taking third place after beating Lakeside 4-3.