Beautiful weather brings exciting soccer

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The Washington Soccer Academy Pilots and the Oregon Soccer Academy Galaxy collided in the championship round of the Clash at the Border tournament Sunday, at Cardon Field in Camas. Ryan Wessel heads the ball for the Pilots. He is flanked by teammates Joe Snedeker (left) and Noah Moncrieff (right). The Pilots conquered the Galaxy 4-0, scoring all four goals in the second half.

Six champions and five other finalists from the Washington Soccer Academy highlighted the eighth-annual Clash at the Border soccer tournament Friday, Saturday and Sunday at fields in Camas, Washougal and Vancouver.

The WSA Pilots U-13 boys soccer team kicked off an exciting championship triple-header Sunday, at Cardon Field behind Camas High School. They scored four goals in the second half to defeat the Oregon Soccer Academy Galaxy 4-0.

“We finally won the Clash after two years of finishing in third place,” said Joe Snedeker, a 12-year-old Pilot from Washougal. “Coach gave us a pep talk, and that got us pumped up. After the first goal, we started scoring easily.”

Pilots coach Ross Blanchard could not have been more proud.

“The boys came out with some passion and fire in that second half. It was fun to watch,” he said. “Two of those goals came in the first four or five minutes, but they just didn’t let up. I hope they take that second half and keep building off of that.”

Following the win by the Pilots came one of the most exciting finals matches of the tournament, for the U-13 gold championship. The WSA Valor girls scrambled to score two game-tying goals and force overtime. The Vancouver United Soccer Alliance was awarded with a penalty kick in overtime, and converted for a 3-2 victory.

“The Timbers have been one of the best teams around this area for a long time, and now we know we can compete with them,” said Valor coach Dan Macaya. “In the five games we played this weekend, each game was better and better in terms of camaraderie and cohesiveness. Teamwork is a really big deal to me.”

The WSA Valor sister girls squad captured the U-13 silver championship, by beating the Timber Barons 2-1, at Cardon Field. The WSA Courage girls claimed the high school gold by defeating the Westside Metros Fusion 2-0, at Washougal High School’s Fishback Stadium.

The WSA Juventus topped the VUSA Timbers 3-2 for the U-16 boys title, in the fields behind Doc Harris Stadium. The WSA Black U-11 development boys defeated the WSA Yellow in the finals on penalty kicks, 3-2. The WSA Pride captured the U-12 girls silver championship with a 3-0 victory over Football Club Willamette, at the Harmony Sports Complex, in Vancouver.

The WSA United boys and girls soccer teams finished second in their respective silver brackets. The WSA Glory girls settled for second place in the U-15 gold bracket.

“This tournament feels very homey,” said Glory soccer player Skye Cramer, a 13-year-old from Vancouver. “It’s good to see so many of our teams make it to finals. It shows that our club is doing good.”

Complete scores and standings are available at The Clash at the Border is the first of a handful of tournaments these teams will play throughout the summer.

“The first tournament with new team is always exciting,” Cramer said. “It would have been better if we had gotten first, but second is still a good achievement.”