Was it an odd way to win a state title? Sure.
Did anyone within the Bonney Lake High boys soccer program seem to care?
Not one bit.
The Panthers scored a goal in the 78th minute when Shorecrest freshman Kevin Musar headed a free kick from 50 yards out into his own goal, allowing Bonney Lake to steal a 1-0 victory Saturday afternoon in the Class 3A state championship game at Sparks Stadium in Puyallup.
“Both teams are knocking … it happens,” Bonney Lake coach Luke Helling-Christy said. “Wow. Yeah, we’ll take it. At that stage of the game, we’ll take anything.”
Bonney Lake senior Zach Jones got plenty of foot on the game-deciding free kick, aiming for a cutting Tyler John across the middle. But John’s timing was just off.
“(Musar) was right behind me and I missed it,” said a grinning John, clutching the state championship trophy with both hands. “It was a real close game, a real physical game. We came out in the end.”
Jones knew the Panthers had a chance at a goal as soon as he booted it.
“I was feeling it, and just decided to dump it in low and hard and see if we could get a deflection,” he said. “When I saw it hit the back of the net, I was like, ‘No way.’ It was crazy.”
The goal capped off a physical, back and forth game where neither team could really square up a solid shot on goal in the second half. Bonney Lake (19-4) had one goal — a header by John in the 56th minute off a corner kick — disallowed because a Panther player pushed off to gain position in front of the goal. Shorecrest (16-4) actually outshot Bonney Lake, 12-9, for the game.
The state title is Bonney Lake’s first in any sport since the school opened in the fall of 2005. In previous years, the girls fastpitch and soccer and boys baseball teams have made appearances in the state tournament, and in 2010 the girls soccer team lost in the championship final to Seattle Prep.