The middle of the season was not ideal, but the beginning and the end were outstanding for the Forest Grove boys soccer squad this past fall.

The Vikings cruised to an undefeated non-league record, outscoring opponents 28-6 in their first seven games.

While the wheels did not entirely come off in conference play, they did loosen quite a bit for the Vikings, who could only manage a 2-4-1 record and fifth place in Pacific Conference action while dealing with illness and injuries.

But the team rediscovered its early-season magic in the postseason by winning a play-in game and then two Class 6A state playoff games to advance to the quarterfinals.

“We put a team together and told them to leave their egos on the side of the field,” Forest Grove coach Angelo Simonetti said. “We told them that they were a part of something, that they were building something and that we were going to do this together.”

In late October, Forest Grove downed Sprague 4-0 in a home play-in game to make the 32-team state playoff field. Then the Vikings knocked off McKay 2-1 in the first round and Aloha 3-0 in the second round to become the surprise team of the state quarterfinals.

There, the squad lost 5-1 to Three Rivers League champion Clackamas, but that outcome did little to diminish a magical postseason run.

When it was all said and done, Simonetti’s squad posted a 12-5-1 overall record — quite a turnaround from a three-win campaign in 2011 — and three players landed spots on the All-Pacific Conference squad.

Junior forward Reggie Lopez-Orosco was named first team all-conference, while sophomore midfielder Christian Romero Guerrero was a second team pick and senior Willy Salgado earned an honorable mention nod.

Best of all, the Vikings’ 2012 roster included just four seniors among 20 players, so the best could be yet to come.

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