Columbia Works Overtime to Clinch State Soccer Berth

CHS defender Fernando Celaya steps up to clear a ball from the goal box during the second half of last Thursday’s Southwest District 1A boys soccer tournament winner-to-state match against Trico League champion Toledo/Winlock. The Bruins fell to United, 1-0, but earned a state berth on Saturday with a 2-1 overtime win.

No team in the Southwest District 1A boys soccer tournament traveled more miles than Columbia High in pursuit of a spot in the final state championship field of 16.

The Bruins went to Forks on the Olympic Peninsula for their district opener (a 3-2 win), traveled to S. Hazel Dell last Thursday for a winner-to-state match against their rivals, Toledo/Winlock United (a 1-0 loss), then capped their tournament with a trip north again, to Montesano to play Hoquiam for the third of three state spots (a 2-1 overtime victory).

That second district win earned CHS (11-5-1) its 10th state berth in 11 seasons.

The Bruins opened on the road against defending state champion Overlake (11-2-2) on Tuesday, in Bellevue.

Log on to to find the result and location of CHS’s next match, if applicable.

“Overlake will be strong,” Bruins Coach Matt Hardinge said of CHS’s first-round match-up. “If we play our best, we will win, but our play this season is somewhat inconsistent, so who knows what team will turn up. I have faith.”

The Owls, who play in the Emerald City League, scored 56 goals and allowed only 6 in its first 15 matches. They were undefeated in their past eight matches.

Toledo/United 1, Columbia High 0: United’s Andre-as Malunat tallied the only goal in the rubber match between these rivals.

He took a corner kick tap-in from Isaac Garibay from the right corner. He dribbled a couple of times before he found a crease in CHS’s defense. Malunat lobbed a shot off his right foot toward the CHS goal. The ball curled toward the goal, away from and just beyond the fingertips of lunging CHS goalkeeper Leo Guerrero.

The Bruins had a couple of good scoring chances in the first half, but T/W goalkeeper Allen Contreras managed to deflect them over the crossbar.

Columbia pressed its case in the remaining 19 minutes of regulation, plus 2 minutes of stoppage time, to no avail.

“I thought we were the better team against Toledo but we didn’t take our chances when we had them, unfortunately,” Hardinge said. “It would’ve been great to get revenge on them for that draw [on April 24 that cost CHS the Trico championship].”

Columbia High 2, Hoquiam 1: Finn Coffin netted the Bruins’ first goal and Bran-don Alfaro scored the golden goal in overtime.

“We were the better side for three-quarters of regular time,” Hardinge said. “Hoquiam almost got back in it but we were saved by a professional foul by Joel Eudave to stop a counter-attack in the dying minutes.”

In overtime, the Bruins picked up their pace again and eventually got the winner.

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