Wildcats reach semifinals for first time since 2002

by: GREG ARTMAN - Timmy Bourque (21) skies for a header attempt Nov. 9 at Randall Stadium, where the Wilsonville boys soccer team shut out Silverton in the Class 5A state quarterfinals.Give the Wilsonville boys soccer team enough set pieces, and it’s bound to manufacture some offense.

Although the Wildcats didn’t have anything to show for their efforts in the first half of their Class 5A state quarterfinal match, they kept chipping away after halftime and wore down Silverton in a 3-0 triumph Nov. 9 at Randall Stadium.

The victory lifted third-seeded Wilsonville into the OSAA semifinals for the first time since 2002 and set up a meeting with No. 2 Bend-Summit on the road at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12. The winner advances to the Nov. 16 finals at Hillsboro Stadium against either top-seeded Woodburn or No. 4 Hood River Valley.

The Wildcats (12-3-1) entered the semifinals with an unbeaten streak of 10 games, going 9-0-1 since falling to Hillsboro at home Sept. 24. The program recently captured a conference title for the first time since leaving the Tri-Valley League.

“Last year was really disappointing,” senior midfielder Tyler Martin said, alluding to the team’s quarterfinal loss to Hood River Valley. “And we came back without a lot of returners, but we’re playing hard. Not a lot of people expected this. But we’re doing awesome.”

Martin played an integral role in the shutout of Silverton (8-7-1) as Wilsonville’s throw-in specialist.

Just three minutes into the second half, junior midfielder Adam Kane showed poise in the box as he controlled a ball that Martin tossed towards the front of the goal and sent a shot past Foxes goalkeeper Oscar Gaspar to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead.

“It’s a weapon, and we use it to our fullest,” coach Ian Reschke said of Martin’s throwing ability. “When we need chances, you can guarantee we’ll get some chances off of those throws.”

Martin also had a hand in Wilsonville’s second goal. In the 51st minute, a ball he lobbed towards the goal hit a Silverton player and continued into the net.

“That’s bound to happen with 15 throw-ins,” Reschke said. “Something crazy is going to happen.”

Added Martin: “I’m usually aiming for (senior forward Timmy Bourque). They deflected it in, but I’ll take credit for that one. ... Most of the time, we like (throw-ins) just as much as corners. As you can see, we capitalized.”

The Wildcats made it 3-0 when Bourque finished a pass from sophomore Garrett Bonnell in the 65th minute.

Second-half scoring made the difference for Wilsonville, which came up empty in the first 40 minutes despite having several quality looks on offense.

It was a particularly frustrating first half for Bonnell. His rocket in the 12th minute was saved by Gaspar. Both of his free kicks about five minutes later went begging. In the 24th minute, Gaspar emerged to make a standout defensive play on Bonnell’s chip. And the sophomore’s counterattack shot in the 39th minute went wide left.

“It was a chaotic game, and there was a lot of physical play,” Reschke said. “Who was going to win the 50-50 ball? They matched us in the first half. Their keeper was outstanding. Usually we’re scoring a couple of those and feeling a little better at halftime. But the guys really followed through.”

Meanwhile, the Wildcats focused their defensive efforts on shutting down Silverton midfielder Anthony Reyna. The senior’s free kick from the right wing in the 27th minute ricocheted off the crossbar, and his free kick about 10 minutes later just missed the right corner of the goal. He was also a threat with the ball in play.

But Wilsonville managed to finish the match with its sixth shutout of the season.

Sophomore goalkeeper Quinn Everts sustained a hip contusion after colliding with Foxes senior J’Rrett Baker early in the first half. Both players remained on the field.

And the Wildcats, who lost 12 players from last year’s roster, remained in the hunt for their first state title in history.



A look at the Wilsonville boys soccer team's recent history in the playoffs:

2002: Finals; lost to Junction City, 4-0

2003: Quarterfinals; lost to Seaside, 2-1

2004: Round of 16; lost to Phoenix, 2-0

2005: First round; lost to McLoughlin, 5-1

2006: Quarterfinals; lost to Bend, 2-0

2007: First round; lost to Crescent Valley, 3-1

2008: Missed state playoffs

2009: Round of 16; lost to Corvallis, 4-0

2010: Quarterfinals; lost to Corvallis, 2-1

2011: Round of 16; lost to Bend-Summit, 1-0

2012: Quarterfinals; lost to Hood River Valley, 2-1

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