The Pioneers fall to the second-ranked Spartans in penalty kicks on Wednesday night.

SANDY POST: MATT RAWLINGS - Sandy's Anthony Ruiz (left) battles with a Corvallis defender for possession of the ball.

Playoffs (First Round)
5A Boys Soccer

Team Score

CORVALLIS — The first round playoff matchup between Sandy and Corvallis wasn't supposed to be close. Corvallis was the Mid-Willamette Conference champion and ranked second in the state while Sandy was only ranked 16th.

But Sandy proved that they could play with the best, even though they would ultimately fall short on the scoreboard.

Sandy held a two-score lead midway through the second half, but couldn't hold on as the Spartans rallied for two goals in the final 20 minutes of regulation to force overtime. Both teams would score in the extra session to force the game to be decided by penalty kicks, but Corvallis would end up winning the shootout and taking the victory 4-3 on Wednesday night.

The Pioneer players came off the field dejected and emotionally drained. But in the post-game huddle, head coach Garet Luebbert reminded his guys of the incredible effort that they put forth — playing evenly with a team that could very well go onto win the state title for 100 minutes.

"You could tell that we weren't intimidated," Luebbert said. "These guys wanted to play for each other. They didn't care who they were playing against or what the odds were…I couldn't be more proud of these guys and their effort tonight."

Look for extended coverage in the Nov. 8 edition.

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