Aberdeen ends season on a high note with league title, shutout of Rochester

It was a celebration in the rain, complete with youth soccer teams playing at halftime and seniors acknowledging the crowd, their parents and their peers on Senior Night at Stewart Field.

Aberdeen finished off the Evergreen 2A Conference regular season on Tuesday night by giving its seniors a big helping of playing time against Rochester in a 6-0 victory to clinch the league title.

This is the 11th boys soccer league title in 13 seasons for Aberdeen, which will host the Greater St. Helens League No. 4 seed at 3 p.m. Saturday in the District IV 2A opening round.

“Overall, great work tonight, especially mixing all of the guys in and getting a lot of offense,” AHS head coach Larry Fleming said. “We’ve improved a lot this season. As the season went on, we played better, especially in the second half of the season. Hopefully, that continues, because there are some really good teams down south.”

Alejandro Felipe, Cesar Corona, Miguel Torres, Tony Oropeza, Robby Lewis and Damon McCormick — all seniors — scored for the Bobcats (9-1, 13-2).

At this time last year, Aberdeen was beginning a two-match, play-in series with Chehalis and Hockinson to get into the main district tournament draw. The Bobcats won the play-in matches, lost to Ridgefield in the district opening round on the road and grabbed the third and final district-to-state berth with three straight wins.

Aberdeen won its state opener at Fife, but fell to Archbishop Murphy in the state quarterfinals. All told, the Bobcats went 6-2 in the postseason last year. Now, they get a bit of rest before they begin their postseason journey, plus a few home games guaranteed to start.

“It is amazing how far we went (in the postseason) after all of the travel and games we played,” Fleming said. “It’ll be nice to host a first-round match. It’ll give us a chance to get some rest. I’m so happy to be able to earn that spot and get the home games.”

Both Aberdeen and Rochester traded shots on-goal in the first 15 minutes. The Bobcats hit the post three times, while the Warriors made AHS senior goalkeeper Alexis Garcia work for saves.

Felipe scored first, taking a feed from Corona, in the 20th minute. Corona got his goal on a diving header from an assist by Oropeza two minutes later. Torres made it 3-0 at halftime when his solo run and shot went in in the final minute of the first half.

Corona got his second assist in the 44th minute, helping Oropeza with his goal, a one-tap shot off a low cross, at 4-0. In the 60th minute, Lewis moved up from his sweeper position to get some work in as a forward and scored a bullet goal from the right post into the low left corner. In the final seconds, McCormick ushered in the final margin with a hard shot and goal.

Other seniors, apart from the goal scorers and goalkeeper, honored on Tuesday were: Anthony Churlin, Dylan Hughes, Elias Jimenez, David Housden, Brian Vega, Austin Pierce and Jeran Parris.

In the junior varsity match, Aberdeen won, 8-0. Enrique Cuevas scored a hat trick, with John Pizano and Christian Sanchez scored two goals each and Jesus Ayala scoring once.