Ranked fourth in the state, the Falcons are looking good heading into postseason

The La Salle Falcons were all business in last week’s Tri-Valley Conference boys soccer final with Estacada, a 5-0 victory.

The Falcons put three balls in the net in the first 17 minutes.

Just four minutes into the contest, James Higgins scored on a penalty kick. Nine minutes later, Alex Baasten scored the first of his two first-half goals. And four minutes after that, Sean Hamel found the net.

Kevin Luyamba added a fifth goal late in the second half.

Tanner Latham, Marcus Roberts, Ari Tani and Ian Hamel were credited with assists.

Dylan Tran and Paul Davis split time in-goal, earning the Falcons’ eighth shutout of the regular season.

The Falcons were runaway winners in the Tri-Valley Conference, earning their first league title since 2009. They finished with a league record of 8-1-1 (10-3-1 overall), putting them well in front of league runner-up Molalla (5-1-4).

The Falcons have had balanced scoring this fall. Leaders through the regular season were: Higgins (6 goals, 8 assists), Baasten (6 goals), Hamel (5 goals, 3 assists), and Latham (4 assists).

Tran had a 0.43 goals against average.

Ranked fourth in the state in the final OSAA RPI rankings, the Falcons were to begin the state playoffs on Tuesday (Nov. 5), hosting 15th-ranked Ontario (8-6-0).

“We have been playing some of our best soccer of the year lately,” said La Salle assistant coach Derek Ray. “We hope to continue with that momentum in the playoffs.”

With a win on Tuesday, the Falcons would host a Saturday quarterfinal game with either 12th-ranked Newport (8-3-3) or fifth-ranked Henley (11-3-1).

Tri-Valley Conference teams Molalla, North Marion and Madras played in state play-in games last Saturday, with North Marion advancing through a 1-0 win over Ridgeview and Molalla advancing through a 2-1 win over Cascade. Madras lost to Ontario 5-3.

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