Panthers kick Hawks to the curb

WHS soccer team improves to 4-1 in league play

The rain didn’t let up for one second, and neither did the Washougal High School boys soccer team.

Joseph Snedeker and Sam Razumovskiy kicked the ball into the back of the net to give the Panthers a 2-0 advantage Monday, at Fishback Stadium. Hockinson scored two goals 17 minutes into the second half to tie the score. Unfazed, Snedeker netted his second penalty shot of the game to award Washougal a 3-2 victory against their league rivals.

“They knocked us out last year, so it was nice scoring those two penalties,” Snedeker said. “Even when they tied it up, we didn’t panic. There was still plenty of time left to get one back. We choked last year. We were not losing to them again.”

The Panthers kept the Hawks at bay during the first half and came through in the clutch. Nicholas Erickson was fouled in the box and gained a penalty shot. The opposing goalkeeper blocked the kick, but the Hawks were punished again for jumping the whistle. Washougal got another penalty shot. This time, Snedeker took it and he didn’t miss.

Washougal struck goal again in the final two minutes of the first half. Mauro Gonzalez fed the ball to a hungry Razumovskiy near the 30-yard line. Razumovskiy got a shot off before he collided with a defender. The ball sailed past the keeper and landed in the right corner pocket of the goal.

Hockinson came out like a house of fire in the second half. Washougal keeper Tristan Roseff made two diving saves right out of the chute. Persistence paid off when the Hawks scored their first goal five minutes into the half. It took them less than 15 minutes to deliver an equalizer.

The stalemate only lasted for four minutes before aggressiveness got the best of Hockinson again. A hand ball sent Snedeker to the line for a second penalty shot. He outsmarted the opposing keeper again and put the Panthers in the lead for good.

“He knew I was going right. I just wanted to trick him by going the other way,” Snedeker said. “Once we had the lead again, we just dropped back and finished the deal.”

Washougal defenders Yorro Bah, Nicholas Boylan, Monte Georgianna, Brandon Rotundo and Danny Zack closed the seams. Roseff refused to let another ball get past him. Head coach John Tyger was thrilled to see the Panthers bounce back from adversity in such a short time.

“These young men were determined not to be denied in this game. They remembered what happened last year, and they just marked up on those kids,” Tyger said. “I couldn’t be more proud of their effort. They were beaming coming off the field.”

After another successful homestand, Washougal heads back on the road to new challenges. The Panthers battle Hudson’s Bay in league for the first time Wednesday, at Kiggins Bowl.

Washougal will be tested at Mark Morris Friday, Woodland April 30 and Hockinson May 5. All three of those games will be played on grass fields as opposed to turf.

The Panthers get another crack against Ridgefield April 28, at home. The Spudders handed Washougal its only league loss in double overtime.

“Washougal is here to stay,” Snedeker said. “I love that we can actually get results after all of the hard work we put into this game. We’re not going to stop now.”