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Falcons are money in the 4A soccer playoffs

La Salle guys stun No. 3 Stayton, while La Salle girls give second-ranked Scappoose a run for its money.


The eighth-ranked La Salle Falcons continued tough in last week’s Class 4A boys soccer playoffs, shutting out third-ranked Stayton 2-0 in Saturday’s quarterfinals, after blanking 10th-ranked North Bend 4-0 in the Nov. 6 first round.

The pair of wins advanced the Falcons (15-2-0) to the state semifinals for the seventh time in the last 10 seasons. They were to play second-ranked Phoenix (13-1-1) in the Nov. 13 semifinals. The Falcons lost to Phoenix 2-1 in the quarterfinals a year ago.

“We’re glad we get to play them at our place this year,” La Salle assistant coach Derek Ray said.

“We’re really starting to mesh and play well as a team,” said La Salle senior captain David Lillie. “Everyone’s fighting for one another. Everyone’s working hard. The younger guys are stepping up and putting everything on the line.”

Lillie said of the quarterfinal upset of Stayton, which was played at Stayton: “It was our best game of the year, by far. We were very cohesive and we played well together. It was an awesome game!

“Stayton is a quality team with some very talented players.” Ray said. “We knew it would be a tough game going in, and we got just that.”

It was the first loss of the season for the Eagles (12-1-3), who entered the contest having allowed 15 opponents just six goals. The Eagles had shut out 11 of their 15 previous opponents. It was the first time they had been shut out all season.

Ray gave a rundown on the quarterfinal with the Eagles: “The game was back and forth in the first half with neither team scoring.... We got on the board in the 55th minute off a corner kick. Duran Herrera served the ball into the goal area and Dakota Eisel finished it with his head.

“Dakota sealed the game in the 78th minute. Our pressure on their back-line caused a bad pass that went to Duran. He found Dakota, who finished it with his left foot....

“They had a very talented forward up top, Javier Topete, who they tried to go to throughout the game. Our defense did a great job of forcing him outside and not giving him any quality chances. Our goalie Dylan Tran had a great game as well.”

It was the eighth shutout of the season for Tran.

Eisel turned a hat trick and the senior forward played a part in all four Falcon goals in La Salle’s 4-0 shutout of North Bend.

Eisel scored on a rebound shot just 43 seconds into the game. Greg Manzano took a shot, the keeper bobbled the ball, and Eisel cleaned up the rebound for an early 1-0 lead.

Eisel struck again just 15 minutes later, pressuring the back line, forcing a turnover and beating the keeper one-on-one on a breakaway.

Manzano scored in the 20th-minute, off an assist from Eisel.

And Eisel finished off his hat trick near the midpoint of the second half, scoring from 30 yards out, off an assist from Manzano. It was the third hat trick of the season for Eisel.

It was only the second loss of the season for the Far West League champion Bulldogs (14-2-0), who entered the contest averaging 5.3 goals, while allowing 15 previous opponents a combined total of just eight goals. No previous opponent had scored more than two goals against North Bend and the Bulldogs had nine shutouts on the 2012 season.

The unheralded La Salle Falcons were not to be denied, as they played with their hearts on their sleeves and upset eighth-ranked Junction City 2-1 in overtime in a Nov. 6 quarterfinal game of the Class 4A high school girls soccer playoffs.

Heroine honors went to Amanda Byrne and Chloe Basile, who scored two late goals to steal the win from the host Sky-Em League champion Tigers.

With her team trailing 1-0, Byrne put the ball in the net with just 4:40 remaining in regulation to force the overtime.

And two minutes into the first ten-minute overtime, Basile scored off a pass from Courtney Crain for the win.

La Salle coach Ryan Cereghino described Byrne’s game-saver:

“The ball was played through and there was a miscommunication between the defender and the goalkeeper. Amanda won the ball and put it in the back of the net.”

“I am very proud of our girls,” Cereghino said. “They fought for the entire game. They never gave up and continued to have faith in each other.

“Amanda told me at halftime that she could score and I finally made the change to move her to forward with about 15 minutes left in the game.  She fought and scored the game-tying goal from essentially a broken play....

Chloe Basile has been rapidly gaining confidence at the forward position. With three goals in two playoff games, Chloe has been on a roll.”

Cereghino also singled Crain and Regan Russell for their contributions:

“Courtney is the workhorse of the team. She will sacrifice herself and is an inspiration for her teammates. Regan, as a freshmen, has stepped into goal for the team. Our starting keeper, Sydney Chvilicek, has been out since a concussion suffered in our final regular season game, but Regan has stepped in and has given confidence to the team.”

Junction City coach Chris Bolton commended the Falcons for their high level of play.

It was the Tigers’ first loss, after winning 10 of their last 11 games, including seven by shutout. Junction City finished up with an overall record of 10-5-1. The Tigers had hammered 10th-ranked Sisters 5-2 in the Class 4A state playoff play-in round.

Ranked eleventh in the state in the final OSAA power rankings, the Falcons continued to go all out on Saturday, when they traveled to second-ranked Scappoose and lost a 2-1 heartbreaker on penalty kicks in overtime.

Courtney Crain scored off an assist from Kate Christoferson with 15 minutes remaining in regulation play to knot the score at 1-1 and bring about the overtime. The two teams then went scoreless through two 10-minute overtime periods. In an overtime shootout, the two teams tied, both going 4-4 through five kickers. Scappoose then won in sudden death on the seventh kick.

Cereghino praised his athletes: “I am incredibly proud of the team and what they were able to accomplish this season. I am sure some people did not give us a chance in this game, but the players proved them wrong.

“The team embraced a ‘never quit’ mentality and it made it difficult for opposing teams to close out games. I have to point out and credit our defensive back-line and keeper for an incredible game — Joslynn Bigelow (right back), Natalie Stone (stopper), Veronica Horton (sweeper), Yesenia Higuera (left back) and Regan Russell (goalkeeper).

“They faced a team that had scored 112 goals in 15 games — an average of about 7.5 goals per game — and held them to one goal through overtime.”



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