Columbia River advances to 2A state soccer quarterfinals

first_imgColumbia River advances to 2A state soccer quarterfinals Chieftains beat Foss 3-1 to keep hopes alive of defending state title Share: Columbia River junior Julian Villa-Salas proclaimed it after his squad won a third straight boys soccer district title last week: The Chieftains are a team for this year and next year.The thought before the season began was that after graduating 11 seniors, including seven starters, that the 2A defending state champions would take some time to rise back to the top.After a 3-1 state first-round win over Foss on Tuesday at Chieftain Stadium, Columbia River is a game away from returning to the state semifinals.The Chieftains will play Franklin Pierce, which topped Burlington-Edison in a shootout Tuesday, on Friday or Saturday at home. No time was immediately confirmed Tuesday evening. Share: “It’s sometimes hard, especially in a league that isn’t always testing us,” Kleier said. “But we have to find it in ourselves and our inner motivation.”Franklin Pierce, the Chieftains’ quarterfinal opponent, topped Foss 8-0 in the regular season and by a 1-0 shootout win in the district tournament. A win would put Columbia River into the 8 p.m. Friday, May 24, semifinals at Sumner’s Sunset Chev Stadium.“Who doesn’t want to be in the semifinals of state?” Afenegus said. “They got a taste of it last year, and they’re just as hungry to make it back.” Columbia River’s Alex Wiser heads the ball over Foss’ Peter McKown in a 2A State first round game on Tuesday at Chieftain Stadium. Columbia River won 3-1. (Joshua Hart/The Columbian) Photo Gallery “It’s nice to finally show all the haters and people doubting us that we’re here to play and compete this year,” said junior Jackson Kleier, who scored and had an assist.The Chieftains were mighty competitive Tuesday in an electric, high-paced affair with the West Central District’s fourth-seeded team.Columbia River launched 23 shots on goal. Foss had nine.Falcons goalkeeper Chris Carmona made 20 saves, including several of the spectacular variety. His lone blunder was a 30-yard shot from Aaron Espinosa that skipped off the damp turf and through his legs in the 35th minute.“I just tested him out, and I was lucky to see it go in,” Espinosa said. Columbia River ChieftainsVideo Espinosa scored again in the 56th minute on a near-post finish off a cross from Kleier, who outworked his defender down the end line and delivered the perfect pass.Eight minutes after Foss beat Miranda — who had seven saves including a fingertip flick-away — Kleier iced the game with a 24-yard bullet in the 62nd minute.“Part of it is they’re wired that way; they’re hardworking kids,” River coach Filly Afenegus said of the high work rate his players showcase on a nightly basis. “They desperately, desperately want to make it back to the state semifinals and know what’s at stake.”Despite an unbeaten streak of 43 games and win streak of 15, the Chieftains have been able to keep that competitive drive. They have something to prove, even if the results say they’ve already proven it 43 times over. 9 Photos GO By Joshua Hart, Columbian staff writer Published: May 14, 2019, 10:28pm Joshua Hart Columbian staff writer Tags By signing up you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Receive latest stories and local news in your email: [email protected]last_img