Skyview wins battle; Camas wants the war

Papermakers host regional playoff game Thursday, at 5 p.m.

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Bennett Lehner kicks the soccer ball beyond two Skyview defenders Saturday, at McKenzie Stadium. Lehner netted the tying goal for Camas in the first half. Skyview clinched the district title on a 4-3 shootout victory.

Camas and Skyview played 270 minutes of soccer in three games without a decisive winner.

Only one team could be the district champion. Skyview got the glory when the Storm beat the Papermakers on PKs 4-3 Saturday, at McKenzie Stadium.

“I’m proud of this team. We had full effort. They were committed,” said Camas head coach Roland Minder. “A shootout does not prove who is the better team. They won the game today, but it could have easily been the other way.”

Camas can still reach the state tournament for the 16th season in a row, but it will take victories on Thursday and Saturday to continue tradition.

“Look at the senior’s faces. Do any of us look worried?” Said midfielder Matt Palodichuk. “We’ve got a longer road to state, but we can still get there. I wouldn’t be surprised if we come back out on Thursday and play our best soccer. This team is full of heart. We are going to come out with fire.”

Skyview struck gold in the first 10 minutes Saturday, but it only took Camas five minutes to answer. Cayne Cardwell lost his balance on a breakaway, but made an explosive last ditch effort on the ball. Bennett Lehner picked up the rebound and chipped the ball into the back of the net to tie the game.

Cardwell added a header goal off a crossing free kick from Austin Cassity to put the Papermakers up 2-1 with 16 minutes left in the first half.

“Cayne’s effort was fantastic,” Cassity said. “It’s because of him that we got those two goals.”

Camas led the battle for possession in the first half, but the Papermakers seemed to lose their momentum when they returned to the field after halftime. Skyview had multiple scoring opportunities in the second half and came up with the equalizing goal with 16 minutes left on the clock.

It was back to a foot race. A Skyview shooter fired the ball past every Camas defender, but it sailed wide of the target. Camas goalkeeper Sharif Batroukh saved the match when he reached back and grabbed a loose ball from his knees with a wide open goal behind him.

The Papermakers almost put the game away in the final seconds of regulation. Cardwell got off a nice lob and Palodichuk connected with a perfect header. The ball rejected off the left goalpost, the game went into overtime and then a shootout.

Sam Pizot, Cassity and Cameron Eyman netted their penalty shots for the Papermakers. Skyview goalkeeper Evan Laws made a save, and so did Batroukh for Camas. When the next shot by the Papermakers rolled away from the goal, the Storm was awarded with the victory.

Camas (13-1-3) has a few days to regroup and refocus on the dream of returning to the Final Four. The Papermakers host a regional playoff game Thursday, at 5 p.m., at Doc Harris Stadium.

“I’m proud to be a part of this group. We just won league,” Cassity said. “Let’s use this bitter taste in our mouth to not lose another game. Fight hard the whole way and put one in the back of the net.”