By BEN MCCARTY
News staff writer
October 28, 2006
The Hood River Valley boys’ soccer team was going to the playoffs. They were locked into the No. 2 seed for the Mt. Hood Conference. They had clinched a first- round home playoff game.
None of that stopped Coach Doug Beveridge from being concerned. In the past week his team had scored one goal, and had lost to conference champion Central Catholic. He felt they that the offense needed to break out to get some momentum heading into the playoffs.
Playing winless Sandy High School did a lot to alleviate those concerns.
The Eagles scored early and often in an 8-0 rout of the Pioneers to close out the regular season Tuesday night at Henderson Stadium.
The victory sends the Eagles into the playoffs on a high note and finished off a 10-1-3 season by moving the team up to No. 10 in the oregonprepsports.net statewide 6A soccer poll.
As the final horn sounded the Eagles celebrated on the field and Beveridge made the rounds shaking hands with parents and supporters.
Just when he thought it was safe to begin packing up, his team dumped their water cooler over him, cooling him down significantly in the cold night air.
Afterwards, a wet, but happy coach was just glad for the effort his team gave.
“It was a great win because we had a rough week last week,” Beveridge said. “We needed to bust out offensively.”
This was the Eagles’ first game under the lights at Henderson field, and they gave their fans a game to remember.
“We had a big crowd here and we wanted to put on a show.” Beveridge said. “I could not have asked for more.”
The team punctuated its win with a pair of Adrian Villa goals in the final 15 minutes, the first coming from nearly 45 yards out on a free kick.
Villa has made long shots his trademark this season, giving the Eagles the ability to score from nearly anywhere on their opponent’s side of the pitch.
Without any non-conference games, it is uncertain how teams from the Mount Hood Conference truly stack up against the rest of the state, but Beveridge gives his team a good chance in the playoffs.
“I think we are going to be a team that nobody is going to want to play,” Beveridge said.
The Eagle playoff opener is Nov. 4 when they will face off against Tigard, the No. 3 team from the Pacific League.