Columbia High qualified for its first state Class 1A boys soccer tournament Monday night with a 5-1 victory over Montesano in a first-round match of the Southwest District playoffs, in Kalama.
The win--CHS's 14th overall in 15 matches and 10th in a row--avenged Columbia's shootout loss to Montesano in last year's district tournament, a defeat that kept the Bruins from advancing to the 2007 1A championships.
This year the Bruins left nothing to chance, mounting a 3-0 halftime lead over the Bulldogs on goals by Mark Lovrin (10th minute; Kilian Hoder assist), Miguel Ramirez (27th; Cheno Barajas assist) and Barajas (38th; Lovrin assist).
Columbia backed up its offensive attack with a solid defensive effort that limited Montesano to just one shot.
That shot came in the 44th minute of play and resulted in a goal by Jason Franks that pulled the Bulldogs within 3-1.
The Bruins bumped their lead back to three goals nine minutes later, though, as Barajas scored off Lovrin's second assist of the match.
Finn Anderson closed out the scoring in the 65th minute off an assist from Edgar Ceballos, sending CHS into the district championship on Wednesday against Forks, a 2-1 upset victor over La Center.
Bruins Coach Peter Knowles attributed Columbia's dominance to the play of midfielders Barajas, Ramirez, Lovrin, Shanti Gosman and Ramon Cortez.
"We controlled the midfield well and, as the game wore on, we managed to play almost entirely in their half of the field," Knowles said.
Columbia finished its night's work with 24 shots, 12 on target.
"We had lots of opportunities to score, with a few near misses," noted Knowles. "I remember having at least three shots beat the keeper only to glance off the post and another--a shot from Javier Ortiz--that the Monte keeper somehow managed to keep out of the goal with a save at the goal line."
Defensively, the Bruins' back line made life easy for goalkeeper Carlos Mendoza.
"Despite their lack of shots, Montesano had a strong attack," Knowles said, "but our defenders did an excellent job of breaking it down before it reached the goal area."
Columbia High 5, at Tenino 1:
The Bruins clinched at least a share of the SWW 1A League crown April 29 with their second victory over the Beavers in two days.
Columbia spotted Tenino a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute on Doyle Fant's header off a throw-in--the first time CHS trailed in a match this season--but came back to tie the score at 1-all a minute and a half later on Mart¡n Mendoza's scoring shot off Mark Lovrin's assist.
"I wondered how the team would respond when this happened," Bruins Coach Peter Knowles. "Last year we trailed only once, for just a few minutes, against Montesano. This time it took us even less time to catch up. Mart¡n answered with a powerful shot and we stayed tied until the second half."
The Bruins snapped that 1-1 tie soon after the intermission on an unassisted goal by Finn Anderson in the 43rd minute. Mendoza made it 3-1 four minutes later off a Shanti Gosman assist.
"In the second half, we regrouped, went back to our strengths and quickly knocked two in to give us the lead and allow us to cruise through to the end," Knowles said.
Lovrin scored in the 61st minute off a Ramon Cortez assist and Gosman set up Miguel Lujano for the final goal, which came in the 76th minute.
Overall, CHS outshot Tenino, 20-7, including 12-6 on target.
Columbia High 4, Forks 0:
The Bruins claimed their second league championship last Friday with the shutout victory over the Spartans in Kalama.
Columbia got first-half goals from from Kilian Hoder (7th minute; Cheno Barajas assist) and Mark Lovrin (34th; penalty kick), and matched those in the second half with scoring shots by Mart¡n Mendoza (69th; Miguel Ramirez assist) and Hoder (74th; Barajas assist).
Bruins Coach Peter Knowles said the play of midfielders Lovrin, Shanti Gosman and Javier Ortiz was instrumental to CHS's success.
"They pressured Forks' players and established a transition game that allowed us to move the ball the way we wanted," Knowles noted.
Standouts on defense included regulars Louy Lerebourg, Chuy Ramos and Ramon Cortez, and Hugo Guzman, "whose patient play on the edge helped turn back multiple offensive runs by Forks' main attacker," Knowles said.
Statistically speaking, CHS dominated on the shot chart, putting 19 of its 29 shots on target. Forks, for its part, mustered five shots, three on goal.