The Papermakers and the Tahoma Bears battled on the soccer field at Doc Harris Stadium for 80 minutes, 45 seconds Wednesday.
And then suddenly, it was all over for Camas when Tahoma netted a golden goal for a 1-0 victory in the first round of the state tournament.
Head coach Roland Minder said the Papermakers had eight days to rest, heal and prepare. They just didn’t have the performance they wanted.
“On this date, as far as the game goes, they were the better team,” Minder said. “Our kids achieved a lot this year. It’s all about the journey. Twenty years from now, they’re not going to remember the wins and losses. They are going to remember all the fun they had playing together.”
Camas had a few golden opportunities to score a goal. The Papermakers put the first ball in the net midway through the first half, but the official signaled a pushing foul.
“I thought we scored one, but I don’t have the whistle,” Minder said.
Tahoma played impressive on defense all night long. Cayne Cardwell and Bennett Lehner took consecutive shots on goal, but the Bears kept the ball out of the cave. Tahoma also cut off crosses by Cardwell, Cameron Eyman and Lucas Ulmer to Lehner and Jakob Cavin.
Camas had several throw-ins, free kicks and corner kicks near the net in the second half, but still no luck. Danny Wing got a good piece of the ball on a header, but the Tahoma keeper was right there to make a save.
The Bears came close to goal a few times during the final 10 minutes of regulation. They fired a laser beam that sailed wide right. Camas keeper Brian Murray also made a huge diving snag to save the game.
Pressure built up to a point where the Papermaker dam broke. Spencer Grant pushed through a crack, and the defenders couldn’t seal it off in time before Grant blasted the ball into the upper left corner of the net for the winning goal.
Murray saved Camas a few times during the game. But he blamed himself for missing that one.
“I think I should have saved it,” he said. “I was just a half step slow to my right. I’m disappointed in myself.”
Lehner called Murray a hero.
“Brian’s been great all year,” said the junior captain. “No way you can put that on him. We were crashing the goal all night. We just couldn’t get one in. That’s soccer. It happens.”