The tides turned quickly between the Camas and Skyview boys soccer teams Wednesday, but the Papermakers kept the Storm at bay and reached the shore with a 3-2 victory intact.
“I just had to go for it. They were pressuring us hard in those last 30 minutes,” said Camas goalkeeper Brian Murray. He made four saves to help preserve the lead.
“My main focus was coming up big in the air,” Murray said. “That was probably the quickest two halves I’ve played in my whole life.”
The action didn’t let up for 80 minutes. Camas struck gold in the first 10 minutes when Josh Tkachenko picked up the pass from Toby Pizot and threaded the ball into the net.
It took Skyview only seconds to respond. Goalkeeper Eric Cotton blasted the ball down the field and Gabe Weber chipped it in, untouched. Murray couldn’t pick the ball out of the sun setting in his eyes.
“Once it happens, you’re crushed, but you still have a game to play,” Murray said.
Over the next 10 minutes, the Papermakers regained the momentum. Bennett Lehner drew the attention of the defenders on a breakaway before serving the ball to a wide open Danny Wing. The junior delivered a missile into the back of the net and Camas reclaimed the lead.
“It was a great lay off from Bennett,” Wing said. “I just had to stay calm and finish it. Finish the chance.”
Wing had been waiting for that moment since missing the first game between these two teams because of a sprained ankle. He felt helpless watching Skyview win 2-1. On Wednesday, Wing proved to be a difference maker.
“It came down to hustle and determination,” he said. “We did not want to lose again, to them especially.”
Camas maintained its 2-1 advantage, and added to it within the first 10 minutes of the second half, when Dominic Fewel headed in a corner kick by Lehner.
Once again, Skyview countered with a goal to put the Papermakers back on their heels. It was gut check time.
“You saw it on the field. People were risking their limbs and bodies to block that ball,” Murray said. “It’s a team game. Everybody was working and giving 100 percent effort.”
The final buzzer sounded sweet to the Camas soccer players Wednesday, but there was little time to rest. On Friday, the Papermakers traveled to Battle Ground and defeated the Tigers 2-0. Wing scored the first goal on an assist by Lehner, and then Lehner netted the second goal.
This sets the stage for a league championship match between Camas (10-1) and Union (9-1) tonight, at Doc Harris Stadium. The game starts at 7 p.m.
“Senior Night at home against Union for the league title,” said Camas head coach Roland Minder. “It doesn’t get any better than this.”