Nothing but net for Washougal

Panthers aim for payback on the road to Hockinson and Ridgefield

A header goal by Yorro Bah got Washougal off on the right foot Thursday, at Fishback Stadium. The Panthers defeated R.A. Long 6-1 to avenge an overtime loss to the Lumberjacks. Buy this photo

The Washougal High School boys soccer team got ahead of R.A. Long again Thursday, at Fishback Stadium.

This time, there would be no let up by the Panthers. They chopped down the Lumberjacks 6-1 and earned redemption after a 3-2 overtime loss April 9, in Longview.

“As soon as that last whistle blew, I’ve been waiting for revenge,” said senior midfielder Patrick Johnson. “That’s what tonight was all about.”

Johnson and Yorro Bah hooked up on a header goal 10 minutes into Thursday’s rematch. Bah followed the ball’s flight path off Johnson’s foot and timed his jump perfectly.

“All the weight just lifted off my shoulders,” Bah said. “I knew we were going to have a good game.”

The scoring opportunity developed on a free kick. Johnson said he was looking for Bah in the box “because he can jump higher than everyone else.”

It helps that Bah also plays basketball for the Panthers. The 6-footer might appear smaller than his adversaries, but the junior defender makes up for it with his heart.

“In basketball, a lot of people can jump higher than me,” Bah said. “In soccer, I use my athleticism to my advantage.”

Riel Lord has been on a roll for Washougal. Coming off a four-goal performance at Centralia, the senior forward kicked in two more Thursday to give the Panthers a 3-0 advantage in the first half.

Lord’s first goal required a little bit of luck. He just jabbed at the ball, but it had enough backspin to roll into the net from about 10 yards away.

“I barely got a piece of that one,” Lord said. “It just trickled in, and filled me with laughter and happiness.”

Relentlessness rewarded Lord with another goal. He got the ball on a breakaway and fired off the goalkeeper’s hands. Lord regained possession past the keeper and chipped it into an empty net.

The Lumberjacks kicked in a goal before halftime and nearly added another one, but the ball struck the crossbar and bounced back out. R.A. Long reloaded, fired and Washougal goalkeeper Chase Duey snagged the speeding bullet out of the sky.

Sam Razumovskiy received the ball at midfield for the Panthers and turned in a dazzling display. The junior juggled the ball from head to knee to foot, without letting it touch the ground, and sent it flying for the goal. The Razumovskiy missle sailed over the net, and the first half came to an explosive end.

It was all Washougal in the second half. About four minutes into it, Johnson picked up a pass from Lord and split the ball between two defenders for an insurance goal.

“I wanted to get a goal. I’m not going to lie. I’ve already had so many assists this year,” Johnson said. “So much game preparation went into that.”

Washougal didn’t settle on a three-goal lead. Mauro Gonzalez finished off a crisscross attack from left to right for the fifth goal. Johnon’s free kick shook the posts, but Razumovskiy was right in position to shoulder the ball into the net for goal number six.

This was the third win in a row for the Panthers. Washougal also beat Mark Morris 3-1, April 17, and Centralia 5-2, April 20.

The Panthers look for more payback tonight, at Hockinson, and Thursday, at Ridgefield. Both games begin at 7 p.m.

Washougal also hosts Mark Morris Saturday, at 2 p.m.

“This is a fantastic group of kids to be around right now,” said head coach John Tyger. “I want them to remember what this feeling is like and have many more of them.”