White Salmon edge past Hoquiam in penalty kick shootout

Charging late for a spot in the state 1A playoffs, Hoquiam got a timely goal in regulation, but couldn’t finish from the penalty spot on Tuesday.

Trailing 1-0, the Grizzlies’ Israel Fernandez volleyed home the tying goal through traffic with 33 seconds left in regulation. After overtime, Hoquiam led in the penalty-kick shootout against visiting White Salmon, but couldn’t seal the deal in a 1-1 (4-3) loss in the District IV 1A boys soccer playoffs at Stewart Field.

The loss for Hoquiam (14-4) ends its season, while White Salmon will face Trico League rival Seton Catholic in a seeding game on Thursday.

“I have to give credit to my team for hustling; what a way to come back,” HHS head coach Fidel Sanchez said. “That’s just the way it goes. White Salmon is a tough team. It was a fun game. I just wish we could have won the game. We had them twice in the PKs, just couldn’t get the save or the conversion. I’m proud of these guys.”

The Bruins took the lead in the 29th minute off a Grizzly defensive mistake in the penalty area. A clearing pass was shanked right to Miguel Chamonica 12 yards from goal and in space. After one touch, Chamonica beat HHS goalkeeper Jamie Bigbie with a shot into the goal’s roof for a 1-0 lead.

Most of the match’s tenor was equal — possession, pace and possibilities were there for both teams. White Salmon tried to possess the ball more in the final 10-15 minutes of regulation, but Hoquiam pressed enough to create chances.

The best one turned into the tying goal in the 80th minute. A long ball was popped to the sidelines for a Grizzly throw-in. Defender Brenner Carlstrom threw a dangerous ball into traffic inside the Bruin penalty area. After two Grizzly attempts were blocked, Fernandez got a perfect bounce for a volley shot.

With nearly the entire White Salmon team inside the penalty area, the ball found a way through and past a surprised goalkeeper Juan Ramos. The ball hit the inside of the far right post and went in, setting off a celebration on the Hoquiam sideline.

“I just saw it bounce and decided to go for it,” Fernandez said. “I was just looking for the far post, which it did. The goalie wasn’t paying attention and I got it. We were just trying to get down there for one last chance to keep going in district. We were just trying to score.”

After a scoreless overtime session, the teams set up at midfield for the shootout. Both teams had one miss in the first three attempts — Hoquiam’s Edgar Fernandez and Anthony Hernandez scored, as well as White Salmon’s Luis Pascual and Gabriel Guzman.

Bigbie came up with the first of two saves in the shootout, pushing away a low-left corner shot from Tai Moses in the fourth attempt. Austin Montoure converted for Hoquiam, giving it a 3-2 lead with one shooter left.

Unfortunately, Hoquiam would leave the next three attempts wanting, two of which could have secured the victory. Osiel Rivera’s attempt on the fifth try went over the crossbar, as well as Brock Atkins’ attempt on the sixth try.

Bigbie made a save up the middle on the sixth attempt, but couldn’t stop Jose Gonzalez’ attempt on the seventh try. With Hoquiam needing a goal to keep the shootout going, Ramos made his second save of the game on Ivan Salguero’s attempt for the Bruin win.

“It would have been nice to beat a team that is always destined for the postseason,” Sanchez said. “It didn’t happen, but there is always next year.”

“We’re going to have a strong team next year,” Israel Fernandez added. “This (match) was good experience and we’re going to come out stronger for next season. Next season is going to be great.”