Seven wins in a row puts the Papermaker boys soccer team back in the state tournament for the 15th consecutive season.
“We’re on a great winning streak,” said junior goalkeeper Sharif Batroukh. “We might be young guys, but we’ve got big hearts.”
Sophomores Cayne Cardwell and Cameron Eyman were only 2 years old when this streak started in 1999. They both delivered goals Saturday to help Camas beat Auburn-Riverside 4-0, at McKenzie Stadium.
“It’s a good feeling to carry on the tradition,” Eyman said. “We didn’t want to let Camas down.”
Cardwell got the Papermakers on the board in the sixth minute when he fired a direct flight into the net from about 25 yards out.
“We felt like we could get a few more in before halftime after that one,” Cardwell said. “Scoring four goals is big. We worked hard and pulled through like brothers.”
Eyman followed up Cardwell’s effort with two goals in the first half on assists by Austin Cassity and Nate Beasley.
“Working off this heat, I’m glad I was able to put two in,” Eyman said. “On and off the field, we’ve become more like a family instead of a team.”
Caleb Morrisey finished off the fourth goal for Camas in the second half. The Papermakers kept the ball out of danger in the back field.
“I’m just proud of all the guys. They know where they need to be without me even telling them. It’s nice to have that cohesion,” said senior defender Matt Rose. “You have their full effort so you put yours in. It’s the best feeling.”
Camas defeated Union 3-1 in the district championship game Wednesday, at Doc Harris Stadium. Houston Taie headed in the first goal off a perfect throw in by Lucas Ulmer.
“That ball could have gone in on its own,” Taie said. “I just flicked it on.”
Union tied the game on a corner kick that just crossed the goal line before it hit the inside of the post and came back out. Camas regained the lead in just a few more minutes, after Beasley blasted the ball beyond the reach of the diving goalkeeper.
“That goal was even more important because it got the momentum back after they had just scored,” Beasley said. “Normally, I don’t make that run. I saw the ball bounce, split between their two defenders and put it in the right corner.”
The Titans pressured the Papermakers at the start of the second half, but suddenly lost possession to Bennett Lehner and had to hustle down the field to defend. Lehner was already off and running on a breakaway, and Beasley was right beside him. The freshman fired the ball to the junior, but Beasley faked out the defenders by flanking the ball back to his teammate. Lehner launched the ball without hesitation, it ricochetted off the inside of the post and settled in the back of the net.
“I wasn’t intending on getting that ball back, but I saw it bounce off the back of his foot and it was right there,” Lehner said.
“It turned into a beautiful goal,” Beasley added. “That was a cool play.”
Camas (14-4) hosts Skyline in the first round of the state tournament tonight, at Doc Harris Stadium. Kick off is at 7 p.m.
“Give it everything we got,” Batroukh said. “If we don’t put in our heart, we’re done. It’s all or nothing.”