Wildcats defy expectations by winning league title, reaching semifinals

by: FILE - The Wilsonville boys soccer team won 12 games, captured a league title for the first time since joining the NWOC and reached the semifinals for the first time since 2002.At the end of one of the best seasons in school history, Ian Reschke offered high praise for this year’s edition of the Wilsonville soccer team.

“This team will be the subject of many of my coaching stories in the future,” he said.

Reschke will likely speak of how the program lost 12 players from last year’s roster, including its top two scorers and many other all-league honorees. He’ll likely recall lowered external expectations for a squad that entered the year without most of its 2012 starting lineup.

Then he’ll be able to elaborate on the Wildcats’ accomplishments. They won a conference title for the first time since joining the Northwest Oregon Conference, climbed to the top of the Class 5A rankings, earned a spot in the playoffs for the fifth year in a row and reached the state semifinals for the first time since 2002.

“I don’t think anyone expected us to be as successful as we were this season,” Reschke said. “We knew that we would have a physically fit and hard-working group but also realized that we lost many talented seniors last year. We only returned two starters from last year’s team.  Many would define that as a ‘rebuilding’ year.

“As for me, personally, I knew there were some good pieces to the puzzle, but how those pieces would meld together was an enigma to me. I remember, during the second week of daily doubles, being quite concerned with our upcoming preseason schedule, as it was a difficult one.

“But once we pulled out the win at West Linn in our first game, we all noticed three big things. This team has players that compete for every loose ball, they don’t give up and they believe they can win. This carried on throughout the season.”

Indeed, the 3-1 triumph over eventual 6A semifinalist West Linn was just the beginning of a special season for Wilsonville. The team went 12-4-1, including 6-0-1 in the NWOC, and finished at No. 3 in the 5A rankings.

The Wildcats defeated Hood River Valley, an eventual 5A finalist that knocked them out of the playoffs last year, and started league play with their first win over Liberty since 2009.

Wilsonville outscored its conference opponents 28-7, capping its NWOC title with an 8-1 blowout of Milwaukie at home Oct. 29.

The Wildcats then crushed Bend-Mountain View in the first round of the playoffs and cruised past Silverton in the quarterfinals before falling 2-0 to Bend-Summit on the road in the semifinals. It was their first loss since Sept. 24 and only their second loss to a 5A team all season.

“I think my coaching staff would concur in stating that this has been the most coachable team we’ve had here in some time,” Reschke said. “They soaked up everything we said like a sponge.  If we told them to execute something on the field, they followed through and did it.”




Record: 12-4-1 (6-0-1 in the Northwest Oregon Conference)

Playoffs: Lost 2-0 to Bend-Summit in the semifinals

Key facts: Won a league title for the first time since joining the NWOC; reached the semifinals for the first time since 2002

Best win: 3-1 over eventual 6A semifinalist West Linn

Toughest loss: 5-1 to Hillsboro, which was followed by a 10-game unbeaten streak

All-league first team: Timmy Bourque (player of the year), Sam Parker, Garrett Bonnell

All-league second team: Andrew Fairrington

Honorable mention: Jason Johnson, Tyler Martin

NWOC coach of the year: Ian Reschke, Wilsonville

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