At the end of the day, The Dalles had to travel 334 miles roundtrip for a first-round state playoff game versus No. 2-ranked Corvallis, so the Riverhawks had to be nearly perfect to advance another round.
TD had early chances to gain momentum and could have been down or ahead, but the Spartans inched ahead 2-0 at the half in a 6-0 state-playoff boys’ soccer final Tuesday afternoon at Corvallis High School.
“It was the first time this season we walked away feeling like we were beaten by a better team,” TD head coach Matthew Dallman said. “They showed why they were in the state finals last year, and have a No. 2 ranking in the state. We have to give a lot of credit to a team like that. It shows us that we have a lot to work on to compete with the bigger name schools in the state. It was tough, but motivating.”
Aside from the beginning and the end of 2018, where TD posted a combined 2-6-1 record, the team hit a hot streak from Sept. 20 to Oct. 16 by going 5-0-2, including a 2-2 tie with Hood River Valley on Oct. 4 in a first-ever night game at Sid White Field. Added to that improved record, the Hawks (6-6-3 overall, 6-2-2 league) scored four more goals (35) and gave up 16 fewer goals (28) than during the 2017 campaign (44).
Dallman restocks his varsity roster with speedy forwards and midfielders Tristan Bass, Andy Lopez, Alex Gutierrez and Alberto Gallegos, and is expected to bring back the entire defensive unit.
Dallman tipped his cap to his highly-touted seniors Eric Soto, Jake Roetcisoender and Reed Twidwell, a trio that provided skill and leadership to a varsity squad of nine underclassmen and five juniors.
In one year, Soto was a solid addition to the team, while Roetcisoender and Twidwell were consistent three-year standouts.
“Jake and Reed have been great captains, great players, and I have enjoyed watching them progress and improve, not only on, but off the field as young men,” Dallman said. “They are two players I never have to question if they are mentally ready for a game, never have to question if they will put their body on the line for the team, and never have to question their desire to win. They are competitors, tremendous athletes, and model student-athletes.”
Although Dallman will have a little bit of a roster makeover, the expectations are at their pinnacle, especially for a group that wound up a few bounces from a league championship.
“At the high school level, “replacing” those two next year, is as close to impossible as you can get,” Dallman said. “Reed’s explosive speed, which caused terror in every defense’s back line this year, and Jake’s organization and discipline in the middle of the field are two weapons that we will need to learn to play without next year. I have no doubt that next year, my team will be up to the task, but it leaves big shoes to fill.”
To find out more about offseason soccer, fundamental clinics or games, log on to www.gorgesoccer.net.
TD girls lose to No. 1 N. Eugene
No. 1-ranked North Eugene jumped on The Dalles with four straight goals through one half of action and rode that big lead to a 4-0 win in opening-round 5A state girls’ soccer action Wednesday in Eugene.
The Highlanders scored early and often in this contest, the first coming at the seven-minute mark and the fourth in the 17th minute for all their goals.
“We lost focus for about 10 minutes, but played 70 minutes of solid soccer,” TD head coach Oscar Nunez said.
Addie Klindt made 18 saves, seven in 15 minutes of the second half, and Teddie Pitt added six saves in the final 25 minutes of play.
Following that onslaught, Nunez said the defense, midfield and forwards had a solid overall output against a squad that is 4-0-1 in their last five matches.
“Everyone stepped up and played great most of the game,” Nunez said.
During the year, TD started 0-4, but then went 4-1-2 in the middle of the season, before wrapping up the regular season at 0-3-2 for a 4-8-3 record to snag third place in the Intermountain Conference.
Across the board, TD posted better numbers, improving on wins by one, adding 16 goals scored, to double 2017’s total (8), and the defense surrendered 22 goals, a sharp decline from 48 last season.
One big caveat looking ahead to 2019 is the loss of nine seniors; however, there are several returners expected back to a program that had as many as 32 athletes on board, which gave the coach some reasons for optimism.
Nunez commended the play of Klindt, Pitt, Jordyn Hattenhauer, Petra Van Kessel-Ervin, Ella Salvatori, Victoria Barragan, and defenders Molly Taylor, Ari Andrade and Michaela Haight.
“They have set the tone for upcoming generations to compete against every team, no matter what ranking they have,” Nunez said. “They believed in the process and put in the countless hours to be the first team to go to the 5A state playoffs. Belief is something we had been missing in our program for a lot of years, believing in themselves and their teammates and believing that we can compete with any team we are up against. That’s the legacy they will leave behind, and I think they will be proud of that.”