Westside Christian battles strong, but falls to Cougars
TIGARD — It wasn't a win for the Westside Christian High School boys soccer team.
It was nearly a tie.
But, no matter the outcome, the Eagles are happy with their effort, and they're looking to continue with that in the future.
Westside Christian, after battling Portland Adventist Academy to a scoreless tie for nearly 73 minutes of action, were edged 2-0 by the talented Cougars in a Special District 1 match played Oct. 2 at Westside Christian High School.
"The first half, we did really, really well. We did well in most of the second half, too," said Westside Christian senior goalkeeper Sean Thomas, who came up with some spectacular saves during the contest. "We fell apart in the last few minutes. That first goal was kind of a downer, but, otherwise, I thought it was one of the best games that we've played."
"I think it was pretty good," Westside Christian junior defender Miles Jetton said. "We had a lot of good teamwork in the back."
With the win, Portland Adventist improved to 1-2 in Special District 1 matches, and to 2-3 on the season. Westside Christian moved to 1-2 in Special District 1 play, and to 2-5 on the season with the setback.
"This was one of the best games we've played so far this season, and I'm looking forward to the rest of the season," Thomas said.
Thomas showed he was ready to go early in contest. Just over two minutes into the match, he made a leaping block of a shot by Portland Adventist freshman Caleb Fontoura. Four minutes later, Thomas made a diving block of a free-kick attempt by Cougar junior Geo Berrospe. Then, with 8 minutes and 25 seconds left in the first half, Thomas had to leap again, slapping away a bending shot by Portland Adventist junior Gilberto Altamirano Palacios.
"Sean saved our butts a couple times," Jetton said.
"I think this was one of the best games I've played," Thomas said. "I've got a fresh set of gloves, and I think that definitely helped."
The Westside Christian defense, including senior Alvin Lai, junior Isaac Anderton, Jetton and freshman Ben Lammers, among others, limited the talented Cougars to five shots on goal in the scoreless first half.
"Honestly, it was a lot better than most of the games," Jetton said of the defensive effort. "The guys were listening, and we were all communicating on the back line. We had a lot of our midfield getting back and helping us on defense, so that was really good."
The Eagles had two shots on goal in the first half, one by junior Eugene Seok, and the other by Jetton, coming on a free kick attempt in the final minute. Westside Christian also got attempts by freshman Carson Snodgrass and sophomore Jamison Poindexter in the first 40 minutes.
Westside Christian then got shots by Poindexter, Seok and Jetton in the first 24 minutes of the second half, but they were either saves, or off the mark, keeping the match scoreless to that point.
But, as the match entered the final 10 minutes, Portland Adventist turned the pressure up. The Cougars were able to break through, with Palacios scoring on a hard shot from 16 yards away, putting the ball into the right side of the Westside Christian goal, giving the Cougars a 1-0 lead with 7:16 remaining in the contest.
Palacios then scored again with 2:42 left to play, upping the Portland Adventist lead to 2-0.
Westside Christian, fighting to the end, got a free-kick shot from 30 yards out by Seok, coming with 1:41 left to play. But the ball sailed over the Portland Adventist goal, leaving the Cougars with the 2-0 victory.
"They're a very good team, and I think we needed to challenge them," Thomas said. "We're looking forward to working on that at practice tomorrow. We learned a lot about keeping our heads up in tough situations, and I think we learned a lot about coming out strong."
"It was definitely a good battle," Jetton said. "We're going to be working on our shots and our conditioning."
For the match, Portland Adventist had 10 shots on goal and three corner kicks. Westside Christian had three shots on goal and two corner kicks.
The Eagles will be back in action on Monday, when they host Portland Christian in a Special District 1 match starting at 4:30 p.m. at Westside Christian. On Tuesday, Westside Christian will be home to face Mannahouse Christian Academy in a Special District 1 match starting at 7 p.m.
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