Photo by RJ Chavez
HRV girls soccer finished its season on Wednesday, Oct. 31 in Eugene with a 6-0 loss in the opening round of the 5A Girls Soccer State Championship to the Willamette Wolverines. Abigail Mitchell (pictured) is one of nine seniors who played in their last high school varsity game Wednesday evening.
As of Friday, November 2, 2018
For the fifth consecutive season, the Hood River Valley girls soccer program cracked a spot in the 5A Girls Soccer State Championship, but unlike other years, this year, the girls headed into state with its lowest seeding during its five-year playoff span.
Ranked 15th overall, the Eagles opened the state tournament on Wednesday, Oct. 31 in Eugene against the second seed Willamette Wolverines.
The Wolverines controlled both pace and possession from the opening kick-off and went on to shutout the Eagles by a final score of 6-0.
Willamette scored the first goal of the game only 55 seconds in, and then followed up the opening goal with goals in the eighth and 17th minute to quickly go up 3-0.
“The girls were stunned by the intital hole,” said head coach Kevin Haspela.
Willamette went into halftime up 5-0.
In the second half, the Wolverines added another goal to take the 6-0 victory.
“Despite the outcome, Mira Olson had a really good game for us,” said Haspela. “We had some decent chances at goal and she generated many of those chances for us.”
HRV’s 6-0 loss was the largest margin of defeat in the first round of this year’s playoffs.
The other two Intermountain Conference teams in playoff action, The Dalles and Ridgeview, both lost in the opening round of tournament play Wednesday evening as well, eliminating the IMC from 2018 title contention.
HRV ends its season with a 7-6-2 overall record, 7-2-1 league record and a second-place finish in the IMC.
Of the 20 girls on this year’s roster, nine are seniors and played in their last varsity high school game Wednesday night: Rebecca Kiyokawa, Isabelle Starr, Jovana DeLaTorre, Sarah Santillan, Abigail Mitchell, Maritza Medina, Maritza Fernandez, Barrett Ihde and Lily Aamodt.
After starting the season 0-4-1, the Eagles’ worst start during its previous five-year playoff span, HRV closed out the season with an impressive 7-1-1 record to help secure the program’s fifth straight post-season appearance.
“We learned a lot as a team this season,” said Haspela. “Like I told the girls, ‘you learn more from losing, than you do winning,’ and we didn’t let initial outcomes affect our faith in the program and our abilities.”