Vikings stay alive in postseason play with two convincing wins

Heading into halftime of its OSAA Class 6A boys soccer play-in game last Tuesday, Forest Grove was locked in a scoreless tie with Sprague.

Even with a tie game, Forest Grove coach Angelo Simonetti felt that the Vikings were in a good position.

“Sprague accepted our game,” Simonetti said. “We felt that the game was showing more in favor of us.”

After intermission, Simonetti decided to get a little more aggressive. Or, as it turned out, a lot more aggressive.

The Vikings started the match with Reggie Lopez-Orosco in goal. Lopez-Orosco, who usually plays forward, was playing goalkeeper because the Vikings’ starting keeper, Ricardo Torres Vasquez, had hurt his leg during practice.

At halftime, Simonetti moved Lopez-Orosco out of goal and back to striker, and the junior rewarded his coach handsomely. Lopez-Orosco was unstoppable in the second half, putting up a hat trick with three goals.

Then Louis Salgado Garcia put in a penalty kick late in the match and the Vikings rolled to a 4-0 victory, moving them into the first round of the Class 6A state playoffs.

The match on Saturday against McKay was much more difficult for the Vikings.

“That was a really, really tough game,” Simonetti said. “They have a lot of seniors on the team and a lot of quality players. They started the game pretty well and kept attacking us. But, we kept on defending.”

The Vikings went up 1-0 in the first half with a goal by Omar Lopez. With around 10 minutes remaining in the second half, Marcos Campuzano put the match out of reach by scoring another goal.

While McKay did put in a goal of its own a few minutes later, it was too little, too late, and Forest Grove won the match 2-1.

Now, Forest Grove (11-4-1) will head into the second round of the playoffs. The Vikings hosted Aloha on Tuesday, but results were not available at press time.

Simonetti has always been confident in his side. Part of the reason that Forest Grove struggled during the middle of the season, he says, is because of an abundance of sickness and injuries on the team.

Now, with the Viks healthy, Simonetti says that they can compete with any side they are matched up against.

“When I have a healthy team and everybody is there, I can play hat-to-hat against any team in the state,” Simonetti said. “Forest Grove is not an inferior team in any way to anyone in this state.”

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