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Gophers score their two goals in the last minutes of the game to knock out Grizzlies.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS  - The Gophers shutout McMinville High School 2-0 in first round of the playoffs. The Gresham High School boys' soccer team took down visiting McMinnville High School on Saturday, Oct. 29, winning 2-0 in the first leg of the 6A playoffs at home. The Gophers found the back of the net twice in the last four minutes of the match to get the win and punch their ticket to the second round.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - The Gresham boys celebrate Martinez-Colin's penalty-kick goal, which all but secured the game for the Gophers. First half

The Mt. Hood Conference champs got off to a strong offensive start with seniors Luis Ayona and Yojany Espirtu Ramirez moving the ball past the Grizzlies' defense. Although the Gophers were able to show off their skills moving the ball down the field with quick passes and ball control, McMinnville didn't budge.

The Grizzlies used their size by taking deep shots down the field knowing their players would be able to come down with it and maybe make a play.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - The Gresham team get to continue their post-season run after beating McMinnville 2-0 at home on Saturday, Oct. 29. "I felt like we were really playing their game with the ball being in the air a lot," Gresham head coach Rex Moffitt said. "We wanted it on the floor, and we got it on the floor. When we do that, we are dangerous."

The Grizzlies' play style and solid defense made it more difficult for the Gresham forwards. That said, Gresham's agility and ability to see the ball gave them more than enough opportunities at the goal. By the end of the first half the Gophers had taken about five corner kicks.

The Gophers also excelled at winning back the ball as well as shutting down any potential chances the Grizzlies might have had.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - Gresham senior Gabriel Hawkins moving his way down the sideline. Second half

Entering the last 40 minutes and with the score still knotted 0-0, McMinnville was proving to be the gum on the Gophers' shoes. The Grizzlies' defense continued to clear nearly every ball destined to be a goal.

Both offenses came out firing, each desperate to deliver the first goal of the match. The desperation and frustration also led to more fouls for both sides. "It was difficult (scoring), no question," said Moffitt. "They are a good team. Clearly, they had a plan and they executed it." PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - Edison Vasquez-Dominguez preparing to score Gresham's first goal of the game.

The Gophers showed more life when it came to offense. Gresham produced chance after chance, but the ball just wouldn't fall in the home team's favor.

With less than five minutes left in the match, the Gophers got a free kick just outside the penalty area. Gresham junior Edison Vasquez-Dominguez drilled the shot past the Grizzlies' wall for a goal.

"When we got that foul, I knew it was going to be me," Vasquez-Dominguez said. "I went straight to ball. I have scored several goals in that same position, and I was just confident that I was going to score that shot."

With four minutes remaining the Gophers got an opportunity to score in front of their loud home crowd when Saul Martinez-Colin was fouled in the penalty area. Martinez-Colin would smash it into the back of the net and celebrate right after by giving their family just over the field fence a huge.

PMG PHOTO: ANGEL ROSAS - Though frustrated at times, the Gophers stayed strong and found a way to take the lead. Post-game and next match

"I think the team worked as a unit," Moffitt said after the game. "We are having a really good season. We got through a great McMinnville team and we are hoping to take it step-by-step. Every game is a state championship."

With the win, the Gophers get to continue their postseason campaign as they travel to McNary High School on Tuesday, Nov. 1.


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