If Foss intended on taking the 3A Narrows League boys soccer race right to the wire, it needed to win Friday night.
And the Falcons did just that.
Riding a first-half goal from Jose Ramos, and sure-handed goalkeeping from Sergio Barajas in the second half, Foss stymied defending league champion Wilson, 1-0, at Mount Tahoma.
It now appears the title chase will go down to next week as both teams finish up with matches against third-place Shelton — with the Falcons (8-1, 8-1-1 3A Narrows) hosting the Highclimbers in Tacoma while the Rams (8-4, 8-1-0) go on the road.
“The good thing is, we still control our own destiny. Three games left, if we get three wins, we are still Narrows League champions,” Wilson coach Jason Gjertsen said. “But this (loss) definitely puts them (the Falcons) breathing down our necks.”
The Rams have suffered through slow starts a few times this season, but managed to escape. This time they didn’t.
And when the ball got loose near their goal, Ramos intercepted a deflection just outside the right post.
“I came from the back, and I
saw the goalie (Alek Greenleaf) and he came out,” Ramos said. “I chipped it over his head.”
The ball took a big hop into the back of the goal, and Foss had a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute. It was Ramos’ 13th goal of the season.
After being outshot 9-3 in the first half, the Rams took it right at Barajas in the second half.
Anei Akol hit a hard grounder at the Foss goal in the 55th minute, but Barajas, who did the splits going low, knocked it away.
A minute later, a Pablo Ramos header from short range barely missed left of the goal.
But the decisive save for Foss came in the 74th minute when Akol’s shot went off Barajas’ leg and caromed left.
“I deflected it with my shin guard,” said Barajas, who made five saves in his sixth shutout this season “I think that decided if we would have won or tied.”
Wilson beat Foss, 4-0, on March 27.
“This was big, just for these guys going into the playoffs,” Falcons coach Mark said. “This was a playoff atmosphere, and you’ve got to be ready for anything, and play solid from start to finish.”Todd Milles: 253-597-8442 firstname.lastname@example.org @ManyHatsMilles