Billies can't get away from Aardvarks.
Byline: Kenny Jacoby For The Register-Guard
Pleasant Hill midfielder Jonathan Farnsworth scored the game-tying goal with less than 20 minutes to play in a first-round Class 3A/2A/1A boys soccer playoff match against Oregon Episcopal.
But it was called back.
The moment he poked it in the back of the net, Farnsworth saw the sideline referee holding the orange-and-yellow flag with both hands over her head.
"I didn't think I was off," Farnsworth said. "When I scored, I looked right over to the flag and I was like, 'Wait... that's a bad call.' "
The goal was taken off the scoreboard, and the Billies never got a better chance. In the game's final minutes, the Aardvarks scored again to go up 2-0, the final score. And just like that, Pleasant Hill's season came to an abrupt end.
"I thought it was a goal," Pleasant Hill coach Colin Hay said. "They said it wasn't a goal, but that's the way it goes sometimes. That would have changed the whole complexion of the game, getting that goal. But that's okay. We'll be back next year."
Several Pleasant Hill players, including a few seniors who played their last high school soccer game, were in tears afterward. The Billies had gone 9-0-3 to win Special District 3 and finished 10-2-3 overall.
"We played well," Hay said. "The kids have got nothing to hang their heads about. At the end of the day they've done really well to get to this point."
The Billies struggled to penetrate Oregon Episcopal's stingy defense and spent most of the game defending their own side of the field. Besides Farnsworth's attempt, their best chances came on balls launched over the heads of Aardvark defenders for the forwards to chase down.
Oregon Episcopal (7-4-5) won the possession battle and used the sidelines more effectively. The Aardvarks rattled off 10 shots on goal to Pleasant Hill's four. One shot banged off the Billies' goalpost. In the 57th minute, Kennedy Balandi headed a cross into the back of the net. In stoppage time, James Lawliss scored on a one-touch shot off a pass from a teammate who had weaved through a handful of Billies in the goal area.
"We had a hard time at the beginning of the game sort of finding our rhythm, and I was think as it went on we found the rhythm a little bit more," said Oregon Episcopal coach David Rosenberg. "I think our defense did a good job shutting them down, and so I felt good about the result."
With 14 of 20 players returning, Hay was optimistic about next year.
"They've got something to look forward to," Hay said, "and they can always look back one day and say they were the first ones to go undefeated in league."
Riverside 11, Creswell 1: The top-seeded Pirates ended the 16th-seeded Bulldogs' season in the first round at Boardman. The Pirates (14-0-1) will face Oregon Episcopal in the quarterfinals on Saturday. Creswell ended its season at 7-6-1.
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|Title Annotation:||Prep Boys Soccer; Pleasant Hill's best shot at tying the score is waved off in a 2-0 loss to Oregon Episcopal|
|Publication:||The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)|
|Date:||Nov 2, 2017|
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