The Snoqualmie Valley will be talking about the 2019 Mount Si Wildcats boys soccer team for decades to come.
The Wildcats earned a dramatic 2-1 comeback victory against the Ferris Saxons in the 4A state semifinals on May 24 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup. Ferris got on the board first courtesy of a LaQuann Crump goal in the 24th minute giving the visitors from Spokane an early 1-0 lead.
The lead didn’t last long.
The Wildcats tied the game at 1-1 on a Drew Harris header goal in the 26th minute of play. In the 37th minute, Harris unleashed a perfect corner kick to the far post. Mount Si senior defender Reed Paradissis, who was uncovered on the play, used his shoulder to deflect the ball into goal, giving the Wildcats a 2-1 lead. Paradissis said he decided to shoulder the ball into the goal as opposed to delivering a header while the ball from Harris was in flight.
“I actually hit it with my shoulder. That is where I have the most control for some reason. Sometimes when you head the ball, you close your eyes. I just wanted to be sure to put it in. It almost didn’t go in but I still got it,” Paradissis said.
The Wildcats defense fended off a Ferris comeback rally in the final 20 minutes of regulation. Ferris played the majority of the final 20 minutes of the game on Mount Si’s side of the field but couldn’t crack their stingy defense. Paradissis, who received a yellow card with 15 minutes left in the game, had three key clears via headers in the final 20 minutes of play. When the whistle finally blew signaling the conclusion of the game, Paradissis pointed toward the Mount Si crowd who made the 40-mile trek to Puyallup for the biggest soccer game in the history of the program.
“I was screaming my head off. I was just so glad to hear that final whistle,” Paradissis said. “All of the kids on this team are fighters. That has been the theme of Mount Si teams, so I guess we are just keeping that going. We’re going further than anyone ever thought. I have never been on a team like this before. I’m glad to be here. It is a dream come true.”
Mount Si head coach Darren Brown wasn’t rattled when his team got behind in the 24th minute.
“We’ve done that all year,” Brown said of coming back from a deficit. “There has been a half dozen times this year where we’ve been down, and five out of six of those times we’ve scored within two minutes. That says something about us. We don’t like being down. We fight back.”
Brown wasn’t surprised Paradissis scored the go-ahead goal in the 37th minute.
“He is just a stud. He is gamer and he loves competition. He loves being in that stressful situation and is a great leader,” Brown said of Paradissis.
The Wildcats will face the Puyallup Vikings in the 4A state championship game at 5 p.m. on May 25 at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
“Finally we’re here. This is what we’ve been talking about all along. We’ll be ready,” Brown said.