Panthers rise to playoff challenge

Washougal soccer team heads to Ridgefield tonight

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Nicholas Boylan gets his head to the soccer ball, but the Hudson's Bay goalkeeper punches it away. Washougal scored five goals in the second half to beat the Eagles 6-1 May 5, at Fishback Stadium.

Washougal didn’t give Tumwater hope on its own soccer field Saturday.

“Your goal is to take hope away from the other team. First, you want to put hope on the bench. Then, you want to put hope in the shower,” said head coach John Tyger. “This is a cruel game. If you let hope hang around, it can come back to haunt you.”

The Panthers grounded the Thunderbirds 4-0 in the first round of the 2A district tournament. Sam Razumovskiy knocked in the first two goals on assists by Deivid and Mauro Gonzalez. Deivid Gonzalez and Nicholas Boylan netted the final two points. Joseph Snedeker chipped in on Boylan’s basket. Yorro Bah led the defensive effort. Tristan Roseff preserved the shut out with two saves.

Washougal is set to clash with Ridgefield one more time in the semifinals tonight, at Ridgefield High School. The game starts at 7 p.m. The winning team advances to the state tournament. The Spudders defeated the Panthers on a golden goal in overtime and in a shootout during their two league matches this season.

“These kids have the intangibles coaches love,” Tyger said. “They fight harder than any team I’ve seen out there. They are not going to be satisfied unless they make a tremendous effort in this endeavor to settle the score on the field.”

With third place in league already locked up, Washougal played with heart on Senior Night.

Looking to break a 1-1 tie with Hudson’s Bay in the second half, Snedeker, Monte Georgianna and Deivid Gonzalez scored goals seven minutes apart to propel the Panthers to a 6-1 victory May 5, at Fishback Stadium.

Washougal took hope away from Hudson’s Bay with those first three goals, but the Panthers were not finished. After attacking the net relentlessly all game long, Bah put a ball in the back of the net with eight minutes left on the clock. Deivid Gonzalez delivered his second goal during the final minute of play.

It was an unforgettable night for the Gonzalez brothers. They combined for three goals and two assists.

“It gives us a lot of confidence,” Deivid said. “We know we can play like this again and again.”

Mauro scored the first point of the game on a penalty shot. He chipped in on the goals scored by Snedeker and Bah.

“This is the last game I will play on this field. I’m glad I got to share it with my brother,” Mauro added. “We both had great games, and we played our hearts out. That was also one of the best halves our team played.”

Usually on the backline, Bah and Georgianna were given the opportunity to play up front in the second half. They both played a little pinball with the opposing goalkeeper and Georgianna bumped the ball into the target.

“I just swung my left leg and hoped for the best,” Georgianna said.

Bah got another chance to score a goal, and he capitalized on it. He hopes the Panthers can do the same at Ridgefield tonight.

“Play as a team, play as a family and don’t back down. That’s all we need to do,” Bah said. “My freshman year, we went to state. We want to do that again. That’s our goal.”

Washougal has been sidelined for too long. Just ask Georgianna. He’s been trying to get to this next level in two sports.

“I’ve been waiting four years to go to a playoff game in football or soccer. This is a whole new experience for all of us,” Georgianna said. “I just want to feel like we left it all on the field and played harder than we ever have before.”