Visiting Moses Lake Christian scored on a penalty kick in the 70th minute, then withstood a withering Trout Lake attack in the final 10 minutes to claim a 3-2 victory last Friday in Greater Columbia B League boys soccer action.
The loss dropped the Mustangs (5-2, 10-2) into a first-place tie with the Lions (5-2, 7-5) with two matches remaining in the 2003 regular season.
Trout Lake finishes off its slate this week with a home match against winless Sunnyside Christian this Friday. On Tuesday, the Mustangs traveled to Riverside Christian; the result of that key match was not available at press time.
Moses Lake Christian was scheduled to entertain Sunnyside (0-7) on Tuesday, then visit Riverside (4-3) on Friday.
Should the GCB's two top teams end up tied, Trout Lake would win the tiebreaker for playoff seeding, having won the season series against Moses Lake, 2-1.
Last Friday, the Lions drew first blood, scoring in the 21st minute on an arcing 20-yard crossing shot from the right wing by Daniel Timofeyev that caught Mustangs goalkeeper Mike Paxson out of position at the left post of his team's goal.
Trout Lake kept Moses Lake goalie Josh Munoz busy in the first half, firing nine shots on goal, including five by senior center-forward Mike Hansen.
The Mustangs' best opportunity to score in the first half came on a 3-on-3 rush up the middle led by Dale Dick.
Dick, a midfielder, penetrated the goalie box but Munoz, who finished with 12 saves, rebuffed the attack to preserve the Lions' one-goal lead at halftime.
However, Moses Lake's defense couldn't stop Hansen from scoring off a rebound 12 minutes into the second half -- moments after both Hansen and senior Peter Schmid missed point-blank shots that dribbled past the near post.
The tie lasted until Hansen drilled an 18-yard shot into the upper-right corner of the Lions' goal in the 57th minute.
MLC players had Hansen trapped at the top of the goalie box until Hansen turned and ripped his go-ahead shot past Munoz, whose view was screened by the scrum in front of the visitors' goal.
Trout Lake maintained its 2-1 lead for another seven minutes. Derek Friehe evened the score for MLC with a booming 20-yard bomb from the top of the penalty box.
The match remained tied until the 70th minute, when Friehe booted a penalty kick past an outstretched Paxson inside the left post for a 3-2 advantage.
Paxson faced 10 shots on goal and totaled six keeper saves on the afternoon.
Trout Lake put 16 shots on goal and attempted five corner kicks to MLC's one.