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Tigard tipped in overtime battle


Tigers fall 2-1 to South Medford in state playoff tilt

by: DAN BROOD - RACING -- Tigard junior Cesar Conteras (left) and South Medford senior Jeff Turner race to the ball during Saturday's state playoff match.TIGARD — The Tigard High School boys soccer team put together what could easily be described as a successful season.

After all, the Tigers claimed a share of the Pacific Conference championship and they got to host a first-round state playoff match.

But, despite that success, Tigard saw its season come to a heartbreaking conclusion.

The Tigers, despite seemingly controlling the action, especially in the second half, saw their season come to an end with a 2-1 overtime loss to South Medford in a Class 6A state playoff first-round match played Saturday at Tigard High School.

“Soccer is a cruel sport,” Tigard coach Tracy Hasson said after the match. “Not to take anything away from South Medford, they played very well, but, flat out, I thought we were the better team.”

South Medford, the No. 3 team out of Special District 1, improved to 8-4-2 on the season with the win. The Panthers also advanced to play at South Eugene on Tuesday in a second round state playoff match.

Tigard finished its season with a final mark of 7-6-2.

“It was a fantastic season,” Hasson said. “The guys are really disappointed now. That's a testament to how much they care. You run the risk of disappointment when you have such high hopes.”

by: DAN BROOD - IN ACTION -- Tigard's Javier Sanchez-Figueroa (center) battles South Medford's Kyle Owings (28) and Rene Cabrera for the ball in Saturday's state playoff match.South Medford took an early advantage in Saturday's postseason contest when sophomore Kyle Owings, after taking a pass from senior Jeff Turner, hit a shot from eight yards out into the right side of the Tigard goal, giving the Panthers a 1-0 lead with 25 minutes and 50 seconds left to play in the first half.

The Tigers tried to battle back the remainder of the opening half. With 6:32 remaining in the half, Tigard senior Charles Petitjean hit a spin-around shot from 20 yards away, with the ball sailing just over the crossbar of the South Medford goal.

Three minutes later, Tiger senior Seam McManamon blasted a line-drive attempt from 16 yards away. South Medford goalkeeper Hunter Soper, diving out to his left, was able to block the shot, with Panther junior defender Angel Montelongo clearing the ball away to help preserve the 1-0 lead going into halftime.

The Tigers, and McManamon, came out firing to start the second half.

The Tigard senior had three shots at the South Medford goal in the first seven minutes of the half, but they were all off the mark.

But, soon after, Tigard, and McManamon, wouldn't be denied.

McManamon, after taking a pass from Petitjean, hit an open shot from 12 yards away on the left side, putting the ball into the right side of the Panther goal to tie the match at 1-1 with 30:52 remaining in the second half.by: DAN BROOD - USING HIS HEAD -- Tigard senior Sean McManamon heads the ball in Saturday's state playoff contest.

With momentum now seemingly on its side, it appeared that Tigard turned up the intensity on both sides of the field.

With 28:00 remaining in regulation play, Tiger senior goalkeeper Joni Mercado made a leaping save of an open shot by South Medford senior Erik Ledezema.

Then, with 17:26 remaining, the Tigers came oh-so-close to getting the go-ahead goal.

Petitjean hit a header attempt, off a long throw-in by McManamon, past Soper, but South Medford sophomore defender Josue Reyes, in the right place at the right time, was able to head the ball away right before it soared over the goal line.

Tigard junior Joseph Lea's follow-up header attempt sailed over the bar, keeping the match tied at 1-1, which was still the score when the second half ended, sending the contest to overtime.

South Medford took a 2-1 lead with 6:32 remaining in the 20-minute overtime session when junior Uriel Cordoba scored on a laser shot from 35 yards away on the left side, putting the ball inside the right post of the Tigard goal.

by: DAN BROOD - TIGER GOAL -- Tigard's Mick Whitehead (17), Joseph Lea (9), Sean McManamon and Cesar Conteras (2) celebrate following McManamon's goal in Saturday's state playoff match.The Tigers fought hard in the final minutes in an attempt to get the equalizer. Long-range shots by Petitjean and senior Javier Sanchez-Figueroa sailed over the bar of the South Medford goal.

Tigard came so close again to scoring with 3:32 remaining when an attempt by junior Cesar Conteras, coming from eight yards away off an indirect free kick, hit the right post of the Panther goal.

Tigard wasn't able to threaten again in the final three minutes, leaving South Medford with the 2-1 victory.

The loss marked the final high school match for Tigard seniors Mercado, Sanchez-Figueroa, Kyle Rose, Drew Bankston, McManamon, Petitjean and Mick Whitehead.