The 2019 season wasn't all open nets and easy goals for the Lake Oswego and Lakeridge boys soccer teams.
Competing in the ever-tough Three Rivers League, the Lakers and Pacers both took their share of lumps, but doled some out as well, and the rest of the TRL took notice.
In response, Lake Oswego saw six of its players honored on Three Rivers all-star teams (including senior first-teamers Aaron Rudder and Chris Anissian), while Lakeridge had five players selected (including first-team junior Chace Koth).
The Lakers played their way to a 5-7-0 record and a fourth-place finish in the TRL, along with a 7-8-0 overall record. After finishing the year as the state's 32nd-ranked team, they squeaked into the Class 6A state playoffs and gave top-ranked Metro League champion Jesuit a run for its money before falling 2-0 in the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.
In addition to Rudder (a forward) and Anissian (a midfielder), the Lakers also saw freshman midfielder Sean McDowd, junior defender Mohnish Judge and junior defender Jack Woolf named to the second team, while junior forward Eric Seaman was selected to the honorable mention team.
"(Anissian) operated with great effect in the midfield and as a forward … (displaying) excellent individual skill and outstanding athleticism," said Lake Oswego coach Fraser Morrison, adding that Rudder kept "things tight at the back when operating as a defender. … There was no one in the league or probably the state with an engine like his (at midfielder), and as a forward, Aaron was a threat when on the ball and a constant nuisance to opposition defenders with his high press."
McDowd, Morrison added, "will be one of the best midfielders in the TRL for years to come and has a bright future in the game," adding that Judge "has excellent pace and can keep up with the best forwards in the league," while Woolf "is an imposing figure who reads the game well and knows when to step in and make a tackle."
Lakeridge, meanwhile, stepped up to battle with its young roster under first-year coach Alan Cox, eventually going 2-9-1 to finish sixth in the TRL and 3-10-1 overall.
Koth won his spot on the all-TRL first team by leading the Lakeridge defense, winning the ball in the air, arranging the Pacers' defense and clearing the ball without fail when opponents entered the final third.
"He's an all-around great kid, a good player and a great leader," Cox said. "He was so instrumental at keeping us in games (and) so reliable."
In addition to Koth, the Pacers saw junior forward Gavin Abbott and sophomore midfielder Ryan Sze named to the all-TRL second team, while senior forward George Kohnstamm and freshman defender Nick Wittig were selected to the TRL honorable mention team.
Abbott "was always a threat and always difficult to manage and defend," Cox said, noting that Abbott was his team's leading scorer and had two game-winning goals.
Sze, Cox added, "leads by example, work rate, ability and all-around game. He can control the game with and without the ball — he's wise beyond his years."
Tigard senior midfielder Trevor Smith was named TRL Player of the Year, while Tualatin's Chris Duke was chosen as TRL Coach of the Year.
Three Rivers League
Forwards: Rasheed Tarhuni, sr., Tigard; Jacob Babalai, sr., West Linn; Aaron Rudder, sr., Lake Oswego. Midfielders: Trevor Smith, sr., Tigard; Jose Jacintos, sr., Tualatin; Marco Millan, sr., Tigard; Chris Anissian, sr., Lake Oswego; Francisco Cabello, jr., Canby. Defenders: Nathan Buckalew, sr., Tualatin; Jared Debban, sr., Tigard; Chace Koth, jr., Lakeridge; Hunter Popma, sr., Tualatin. Goalkeeper: Zachary Heidema, sr., Canby.
Player of the Year — Trevor Smith, Tigard
Coach of the Year — Chris Duke, Tualatin
Forwards: Manny Mayares, jr., Tualatin; Gavin Abbott, jr., Lakeridge; Ian Quinlan, sr., Canby. Midfielders: Owen Caba, so., West Linn; Ryan Sze, so., Lakeridge; Owen Hoy, so., West Linn; Sean McDowd, fr., Lake Oswego; Drew Carlile, jr., Tualatin. Defenders: Jack Hallum, jr., Tigard; Mohnish Judge, jr., Lake Oswego; Jack Woolf, jr., Lake Oswego; Alejandro Valdez, so., West Linn; Cole Richmond, jr., Tualatin. Goalkeeper: Jackson Cleaver, sr., Tigard.
Forwards: George Kohnstamm, sr., Lakeridge; Remus Repcak, fr., Tualatin; Jacob Theodoroff, sr., Tigard; Eric Seaman, jr., Lake Oswego; Hayden Gillespie, sr., Oregon City. Midfielders: Hansi Katterle, so., Tualatin; Ben Martinusen, sr., Canby; Ivan Orozco, sr., Tigard; Edson Jimenez-Sutton, jr., Oregon City; Kyle Gregg, sr., West Linn; Adrian Ramos, so., Oregon City; Riley Hemsi-Walters, so., Canby; Maxwell Kelly, so., West Linn. Defenders: Alec Sloan, jr., West Linn; Brandon Mendez, so., Tigard; Carter Phelps, so., Oregon City; Alex Flores, so., Oregon City; Nick Wittig, fr., Lakeridge; Luke Tamimi, sr., Canby; Zach Walton, jr., West Linn; Ethan Elder, sr., Tualatin; Edgar Gutierrez, sr., Canby. Goalkeeper: Ian Stuart, sr., Tualatin; Josepher Juarez-Cruz, jr., Oregon City.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.