Wilsonville boys soccer beats Eagle Point 3-0 in playoff opener
The Wilsonville boys soccer team has been through it all.
The Wildcats have been great — they went unbeaten for almost a month from the end of September to late October.
They've had their struggles — including three straight non-league losses to Class 6A teams.
But now, they're ready for the biggest games of the year.
Wilsonville proved that in the first round of the Class 5A state playoffs when they shut out Eagle Point 3-0 on Wednesday, Nov. 3, at Wilsonville High School.
"The pieces came together tonight. We played really good," said Wilsonville junior midfielder/forward Greg Keswick. "It was a solid performance. … They got their chances, but after those, we settled it down, created our own and played well."
"Once we got going (and) broke a sweat, it helped us get our momentum together, really come together as a team, create more chances, and in the end, it resulted in more goals for us," said sophomore midfielder Yazly Nazarav, who scored his team's first goal against Eagle Point.
With the win — the team's fifth in its last six games — the fifth-ranked Wildcats improved to 9-4-2 overall after tying La Salle for the Northwest Oregon Conference title. No. 12 Eagle Point, meanwhile, lost for the second time in its final three games and ended its season at 6-5-0 after tying for second in the Midwestern League.
After a couple early pushes by the Eagles, Wilsonville took over. They dominated possession and outshot Eagle Point 6-0 over the final 33 minutes of the opening half, including Nazarav's goal in a crowd at the left post following a corner kick by senior Dylan Lee with 4 minutes, 14 seconds left in the opening half.
The Eagles very nearly tied the game 13 minutes into the second half when junior Cesar Campuzano angled a hard shot at the Wilsonville goal from 15 yards, but Wilsonville junior goalkeeper Chase Nelson made a diving stop to preserve his team's 1-0 edge.
Along with the Wildcats' solid back line, that was all Wilsonville needed on Wednesday.
"I think the experience in the back line really helps a lot," Lee said, noting that he and fellow senior Joey Friedman both played in the Class 5A state championship as sophomores. "Having that experience going into the playoffs and helping these boys progress is really helpful."
Wilsonville then boosted its edge to 2-0 with 14:15 left in the contest when senior Toshi Kondo took a shot from the left side of the field that Eagles' keeper Trenton Silani caught — then dropped — and saw bounce into the corner of the goal.
The Wildcats were back in goal just four minutes later when junior Yaseen Mubashir blasted a 35-yard bomb into the top of the Eagle Point goal for a 3-0 lead with 10:11 left in the contest.
"After we got the (first goal), we felt pretty good and then we just settled down, settled down, played to the back and kept it simple," Keswick said. "We settled it down, we played smart."
Next up, the Wildcats will play at No. 4 North Salem — 11-1-3 after tying for first in the Mid-Willamette Conference — in the state quarterfinals on Saturday.
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