Juan Montero scored a goal in regulation and converted a PK in the shootout, and the Walla Walla High School soccer team exacted some revenge by topping Kennewick in the regular season finale Saturday afternoon at Lampson Stadium.
The Lions (12-4, 10-4) won a shootout over the Blue Devils in Walla Walla on Thursday in a makeup game that also was tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation.
“I’m very proud of our guys, the way that we played, especially in the second half,” Walla Walla coach Jose Cedeno said. “We could have done better, obviously, but that’s something we can focus on the next couple of days in training. But for the most part I thought we played well, and it was a good sort of revenge for us; a quick one.”
The win was an important one for Walla Walla (8-7, 8-6) because it vaulted the team past Hanford for the Mid-Columbia Conference’s Class 4A No. 2 seed. Walla Walla will host Greater Spokane League No. 3 Lewis and Clark (12-3, 7-2) on Wednesday, time TBD.
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“There’s nothing better than that, getting a home game at our field, getting everybody there, it just gives us confidence,” Montero said. “And then getting the win gives us momentum going into the playoffs, and that’s all we need.”
The Blue Devils came out swinging after a scoreless first half, and their aggressiveness paid off in the 48th minute when Edwin Romero took an extra pass in front of goal to find Montero, and the junior forward buried his right-footed shot to the near post in the back of the net.
“Montero had a couple of those similar plays, and one that just passed by our forwards and their defenders,” Cedeno said. “But that’s one that we definitely practice, and it’s nice to see that actually reflecting, our hard work and training reflecting into the game. It’s no surprise for our players to make (that extra pass) for us, because it’s something we expect them to do. It’s an unselfish play.”
Montero and Romero each had open chances to double Walla Walla’s lead in the following 15 minutes, but Kennewick keeper Xander Flannery stopped both shots.
After struggling to maintain possession in the attacking third for most of the match, Kennewick got its break when, with the wind at his back, junior midfielder Eddie Castillo let one fly from 25 yards out in the 68th. The ball sailed over leaping Wa-Hi goalkeeper Angel Montero and just below the crossbar to level the score at 1-1, where it stayed until the end of regulation and through both overtimes.
Luis Perez and Juan Montero converted PKs for Walla Walla, and Kennewick’s four kick takers missed the target to seal the win for the Blue Devils.
“I was feeling confident,” Montero said of his penalty kick. “If I get nervous, I know that it’s all in my head. And I don’t want them getting in my head.”
Kennewick had already clinched the top MCC Class 3A seed and will host Shadle Park, Southridge or Rogers in the double-elimination part of the MCC/GSL subregional on May 6.