West Linn boys soccer falls to David Douglas 2-1 in quarterfinals
The West Linn boys soccer team was dead in the water.
The Lions, playing at David Douglas in the Class 6A state semifinals on Saturday, had just seen the Scots grab a two-goal lead when Esad Salihovic converted a penalty kick with just 5 minutes, 10 seconds left to play in the second half.
But did West Linn go quietly from there?
No, the Lions did not.
West Linn rallied back with its first goal less than a minute later, then created three more dangerous chances down the stretch before finally falling 2-1.
"These guys wanted it, but it just wasn't there for us," West Linn coach Travis Roth said. "Sometimes the ball doesn't bounce your way in soccer."
With the loss, the sixth-ranked Lions saw their four-game winning streak snapped and ended their 2018 season at 11-3-3 after winning a share of the Three Rivers League title. Third-ranked Mt. Hood Conference-champion David Douglas, meanwhile, ran its unbeaten streak to nine games and lifted its record to 13-2-2. The Scots also earned a berth in the state semifinals, playing at second-ranked Summit (16-1-0) at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.
"You knew a push was coming — they had to throw everything they had at us," said David Douglas coach Logan Marquardt. "I knew that last five minutes was going to be the toughest part of the game."
"It was a lot of pressure," said David Douglas goalkeeper Andy Borbon. "They wanted to go farther in their season, but we did also."
The Scots seemed to put the match out of reach late in the contest when the attacking duo of Isaac Rangel Villafuerte and Salihovic made a run down the left side. Villafuerte played the ball ahead then peeled off, while Salihovic ran onto the ball and took a couple touches before being brought down from behind.
"Isaac is super fast and he drew the defenders away," Salihovic said. "They were trying to catch up, and I knew if I cut in front of them they would either crash into me or they'd have to let me score."
The whistle sounded and Salihovic was awarded a penalty kick, hitting a low roller that beat West Linn sophomore keeper Caden Kesselring inside the left post for a 2-0 lead with 5:10 to play.
Game over, right?
West Linn needed less than a minute to get onto the scoreboard, with freshman Owen Caba connecting on a sidewinder inside the near post off a corner kick to cut the Scots' lead to 2-1.
The Lions were back on the hunt for the equalizer with Garrett Jackson running onto a ball deep down the right side, then popping a high shot into the air that forced Borbon to make the first of three difficult saves down the stretch.
Half a minute later, West Linn senior Gavin Tinsley hit a long-range blast to the center of the goal where Borbon made a careful two-handed stop.
West Linn's best chance to force overtime came with 2:20 to play when a free kick came to rookie Luke Tinsley inside the 18-yard box. He hit another high ball that was on target at the far side of the David Douglas goal before Borbon came up with his biggest stop of the season, flinging himself into the air, reaching across his body and slapping the ball away.
"I had to take some big steps across the line and throw myself up high," Borbon said. "I tapped it away and another guy came in and I took an elbow to the mouth."
Borbon covered up on the ground with his face buried in the turf when the referee blew the play dead. The Scots inserted sophomore Johnny Martinez into goal for the next 40 seconds before a stoppage allowed Borbon to re-enter the game for the final 1:30.
West Linn played one final high ball into the attacking third with 10 seconds to go, but David Douglas senior Miguel Ordaz was the first to reach it and cleared the ball to secure the win.
The Scots took the lead midway through the first half when Ordaz played a long ball that bounced over a defender, sending Villafuerte on a run down the left side.
"I had one player coming my way, so I touched it past them, then went through the legs of another defender and just poked it past the keeper," he said.
David Douglas nearly doubled its advantage a minute later when Angel Vidas connected on a header at the front of the goal that forced Kesselring to make a save.
West Linn came out of halftime and applied heavy pressure in the attacking zone for a 15-minute stretch. Senior Michael Phillips hit a free kick from midfield, and freshman teammate Phillip Jonsson was able to connect with a glancing header that missed just over the crossbar. Five minutes later, Jackson made a deep run down the left side before hitting a blast from 12 yards out that knocked Borbon into a sitting position while making the save at the near post.
Two minutes later, Luke Tinsley hit a free kick that took a high hop off the turf and forced Borbon to leap and snatch the ball from three onrushing Lion attackers.
The next Lions' threat saw Gavin Tinsley run onto another high bouncer at the top of the box alongside David Douglas defender Mussa Amissi. Both players went into the air and possession remained murky until Borbon came off the line to collect the dangerous ball.
"Everyone stepped up in their positions, and we did a good job holding our shape," Roth said. "We were winning the ball farther up the field and that led to more chances. They came here to win this one and they pushed themselves the entire time."
West Linn seniors Gavin Tinsley, Jackson, Adam Beyer, Abdul Ali, Garrett Wiancko, Matt Kurtin and Cole Goodheart played their final games for the Lions.