A bad break late in regulation time cost Hoquiam a potential upset of league champion Rochester.
The Warriors were the beneficiaries of an own goal — a Grizzly accidentally putting the ball in his own net — with three minutes remaining to post a 2-1 victory in an Evergreen 1A League boys soccer finale Tuesday night.
Originally scheduled for Hoquiam, the contest was moved to Aberdeen’s Stewart Field due to superior field conditions.
The Grizzlies (13-3 overall) wound up second to Rochester in league play at 12-3. All three of their losses came at the hands of the Warriors.
Hoquiam will return to Stewart Field on Tuesday to face White Salmon in a winner-to-state, loser-out district contest. That match is scheduled for 6 p.m., but would be moved up to 5 o’clock if Aberdeen hosts a district 2A contest that night.
Miscommunication on a free ball late in the contest resulted in an HHS defender heading the ball into his net.
Rochester had opened the scoring when Alexis Ayala headed in a corner kick in the 28th minute.
The Grizzlies answered four minutes later. Israel Fernandez crossed a pass to the far post, where Anthony Hernandez headed it home.
Rochester had the better opportunities early in the second half, finishing with an 11-7 edge in shots on goal.
“Rochester was a team that was destined to win the league,” HHS coach Fidel Sanchez said. “We played them tough every time, though. Against every other team, we’ve been fine. Against Rochester, we’ve been the unlucky team every time.”
Grizzly defender Alex Munoz, who again marked up on Rochester standout Ricky Zamudio, was cited for fine defensive play. Sanchez also praised the performance of Angel Mazariegos.
Hernandez, Brock Atkins, Joel Padilla, Dalton Roberts and managers Taylor Fogo and Ashley Fillo were honored in Senior Night ceremonies. Sanchez also thanked the parents of his seniors for their support.
Roberts scored the game-winning goal on a penalty kick to give the Grizzlies a 4-3 victory in the junior varsity match.