The breaks didn’t go Aberdeen’s way in a penalty-kick shootout loss to Ridgefield in the quarterfinal round of the 2A District 4 Tournament on Tuesday in Aberdeen.
The Bobcats (11-3-1 overall) and Spudders (12-5) took turns on the attack and counter-attack for much of the first quarter of game time until Aberdeen began to assert its control and get the better scoring chances toward the end of the first half.
That momentum carried into the second half as the Bobcats held an advantage in time of possession and scoring chances.
With the game scoreless midway through the second half, an outnumbered Aberdeen attack ended up on the foot of senior forward Kaleb Myers, who penetrated deep into Ridgefield territory on an angled run.
In the first of what turned out to be many key calls/non-calls that went against the Bobcats, Myers was hit with a hard slide-tackle that swept his feet out from under him and thwarted the attack in what appeared to be a foul and subsequent penalty kick for the Bobcats.
But the referees deemed the play to be legal despite Aberdeen objections as the game played on.
Another Aberdeen attack ended in a non-call when Bobcats junior Carlos Mendoza collided with oncoming Ridgefield keeper Jace Wilson.
Mendoza remained on the pitch for a half-minute before getting back to his feet.
Late in the second overtime with Aberdeen threatening against a fatiguing Spudders defense, an outnumbered Aberdeen attack was stopped cold by a referee’s whistle as a ball that deflected off a Bobcats’ players face was called a hand ball.
The game remained scoreless through the remainder of overtime and went to a penalty-kick shootout.
“We had lots of shots and lots of opportunities,” Aberdeen head coach Larry Fleming said. “I felt really good about the second half and how we pressured them. I felt like we took over the game in the second half like we usually do. That’s a solid opponent. The (2A GSHL) is really good down there and I feel really good about how we played.”
In the shootout, more bad breaks were being served up to the Bobcats.
Aberdeen’s Miguel Martinez and Daniel Guzman converted their attempts as did Ridgefield’s Robert Taylor and Elijah Adams.
Jude Willis converted to put the Spudders up 3-2 in the shootout.
Aberdeen’s Alan Avalos followed with a shot that was blocked by a diving Wilson.
Ridgefield’s Jack Brown converted an attempt, as did Aberdeen’s Edwin Quintana, putting Ridgefield up 4-3.
Aberdeen keeper Antonio Granados — who had guessed correctly on all four Ridgefield attempts to that point — dove to his left on an attempt by Ridgefield’s Lucas Houghton, but Houghton placed his shot to the right and into the back of the net to give Ridgefield the 5-3 shootout victory.
More evidence of Aberdeen not catching a break occurred in the shootout, where Granados got a hand on three Ridgefield shots, but each one deflected into the net, two of them off the inside of the post.
“You’re talking about that much more off the post,” Fleming said while holding his finger and thumb an inch apart. “When you get to PKs, it can go either way any time. We’ve been lucky to win a couple, that one we didn’t.”
Though their chances of winning a district title went by the wayside with the loss, Aberdeen is still in good position to earn one of the district’s four state playoff spots.
Aberdeen will host Rochester, a team they beat twice during league play, in an elimination game at 6 p.m. on Thursday at Stewart Field.
Fleming said playing the way they did on Tuesday against a high-quality Ridgefield team, his team should have plenty of confidence heading into Thursday’s matchup.
“This game was more about playing well,” he said. “Now we get to be home (on Thursday). … I told them in the huddle that it’s a tough loss and it can go that way sometimes, but the good news is we are in great shape. We are in control of our own destiny and we have a good chance to host again on Saturday if we win (on Thursday).”
Ridgefield 0 0 — 0
Aberdeen 0 0 — 0
(Ridgefield wins 5-3 on penalty kicks)
Penalty kicks — Ridgefield 5 (Taylor, Adams, Willis, Brown, Houghton); Aberdeen 3 (Martinez, Guzman, Quintana).
Elma 3, King’s Way Christian 2
Elma rallied from down two goals to defeat King’s Way Christian in a 1A District 4 semifinal game in Shelton on Tuesday.
The Eagles (16-0-2) trailed 2-0 for the first time this season after KWC (10-4-1) scored a pair of goals in the first half.
Faced with a halftime and multi-goal deficit for the first time this season, the Eagles didn’t wilt, they responded.
Elma senior forward Valencia Mendoza got the Eagles on the board with a steal and score in the 56th minute.
Ten minutes later, a steal was played through Canon Seaberg who fed sibling Cason Seaberg for a goal to tie the game a 2-2 in the 66th minute.
Just four minutes later, Jose Perez sent a dead-ball cross toward Cason Seaberg, who headed it in to give the Eagles the lead and, eventually, the win.
“Our frontline players really came through for us, led by Cason Seaberg’s relentless work rate,” Elma head coach Carson Seaberg said. “Although this was not our best played game, I’m very proud that they pulled out the win with fight and togetherness.”
With the victory, third-ranked Elma advances to the district championship game against No. 10 Seton Catholic on Saturday at Fort Vancouver High School (time to be determined).
The Eagles also punched their ticket to the 1A State Tournament.
“It is an awesome feeling to qualify for the state tournament,” Coach Seaberg said. “This is a great group that, like many players, have lost a lot chances with the COVID restrictions the last few years.”
KWC 2 0 — 2
Elma 0 3 — 3
First half — 1, KWC, N/A. 2, KWC, N/A.
Second half — 3, Elma, Mendoza, 56th minute. 4, Elma, Cason Seaberg (Canon Seaberg), 66th minute. 5, Elma, Cason Seaberg (Jose Perez), 70th minute.
Montesano 1, Tenino 0
Montesano staved off elimination with a 1-0 victory over Tenino in the 1A District 4 Tournament on Tuesday in Montesano.
Montesano (12-5) got a goal after forward Levi Clements was taken down in the box on a slide tackle, earning the Bulldogs a penalty kick.
Jiovanny Torres converted the penalty to give Monte a 1-0 lead in the 31st minute.
The Bulldogs defense held the rest of the way to secure Monte’s third one-goal victory over the Beavers this season.
“We were better than we were on Saturday. We actually played the game,” quipped Montesano head coach Fidel Sanchez, recalling the Bulldogs’ 2-0 loss to Columbia-White Salmon in the first round.
The Bulldogs outshot the Beavers 13-5 and had seven corner kicks to just one for Tenino.
With Montesano’s first playoff victory since 2018, the Bulldogs advance and will face King’s Way Christian on Thursday (time, location to be determined).
Tenino 0 0 — 0
Montesano 1 0 — 0
First half — 1, Montesano, Torres (penalty kick), 31st minute.