Bobcats fall to Washougal in district soccer

WASHOUGAL — The inability to convert scoring chances — including a pair of late penalty kicks — cost Aberdeen dearly in its district boys soccer opener.

Washougal turned two Bobcat PKs in the final 12 minutes to edge the Bobcats, 2-1, in the opening round of the District IV Class 2A Boys Soccer Tournament on Saturday night at Washougal.

The Bobcats (8-7) will host Evergreen 2A Conference rival Chehalis in a loser-out contest Tuesday night at Stewart Field.

That contest will follow a Hoquiam-White Salmon district 1A contest at Stewart Field. Although game times have not been finalized as yet, the Hoquiam game is tentatively set for 5, with the Bobcats and Bearcats to follow at approximately 7.

The loss was exceedingly frustrating for the Bobcats, who dominated time of possession and outshot the Panthers, 20-8.

“We played really well, passed great, and Washougal’s not a bad team,” AHS coach Larry Fleming said. “We just had a lot of shots that didn’t go in.”

Down 2-0, the Bobcats finally cracked the scoring column with 17:40 remaining. Juanito Lopez’s rocket shot deflected off a defender and past the goalkeeper, with Juan Oropeza collecting the assist.

Five minutes later, Aberdeen was awarded a penalty kick when Lopez was taken down from behind in the box. Lopez took the spot kick, but the goalkeeper made the save.

Then, with 17 seconds left, Lopez was again taken down in the box. Oropeza took this penalty kick, but it hit the crossbar and stayed out.

That was one of three occasions that the Cats hit the crossbar.

Washougal opened the scoring in the 18th minute by converting a scramble in front of the net. Bobcat goalkeeper Jose Tinoco knocked the ball out, but the side official ruled the shot had crossed the goal line.

It remained 1-0 until the Panthers scored on a breakaway about 10 minutes into the second half.

Bobcat sweeper Seth Caba, who is being treated for a head injury, was held out of the game as a precautionary measure. Jake Medley, who shifted from stopper to sweeper, and Luis Lopez, who filled in at stopper, both were credited with fine performances.

Midfielder Aly Caluamba was also cited by Fleming for his play.