The Falcons are 13-2-0 heading into the Class 4A state playoffs

by: CHRISTOPHER ONSTOTT - La Salle senior captain Dakota Eisel (17) goes on the attack - leaving Estacada sophomore Cole Eakin behind - in last weeks 6-0 shutout of the Rangers.The La Salle Falcons closed out the regular season strong, blanking Banks 2-0 in a Class 4A boys soccer state play-in game on Saturday, and trouncing Estacada 6-0 in their final game of the Tri-Valley Conference season, played on Oct. 30.

Saturday’s win was the sixth shutout of the season for the Falcons, who finished second only to Molalla (10-0-0) in the Tri-Valley Conference, with a conference record of 8-2-0.

Molalla and La Salle entered postseason play ranked sixth and eighth respectively in the OSAA power rankings.

La Salle assistant coach Derek Ray said the Falcons were not at their best in the 2-0 win over Banks.

“Banks had some talent in the midfield, and they made it tough for us to possess the ball. We started playing better towards the end of the game....”

The Falcons went up 1-0 just six minutes into the game, when Dakota Eisel scored off an assist from David Lillie.

The score remained 1-nil until the midpoint of the second half, when James Higgins scored unassisted.

The win advanced the Falcons (13-2-0 overall) to the 16-team first round of the Class 4A state playoffs. They were to meet 10th-ranked North Bend (11-1-0) on the road on Tuesday (Nov. 6). The winner of that game would play either Molalla (12-2-0) or ninth-ranked Cascade (10-4-1) in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

The Falcons where in charge of last week’s game with Estacada from the outset, and they rolled to a 4-0 advantage by the intermission.

Led by sophomore Duran Herrera (two goals), five different La Salle players found the net.

Seniors Dakota Eisel and Peter Nguyen, junior Nico Marquez-Stock and sophomores Greg Manzano and James Higgins added single tallies.

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