Ridgefield falls to Cheney in 2A soccer semifinal

Spudders shut out for first time this season

By Candace Buckner, Columbian staff writer

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SUMNER -- The Ridgefield Spudders played in the Friday twilight match of the Class 2A boys' state soccer tournament, but their championship hopes fell inside Sunset Stadium.

Ridgefield lost to the Cheney Blackhawks, 3-0, experiencing its first shutout of the season.

The Spudders (18-4-1) will look to recover at noon Saturday in the third-place game against the Sedro-Woolley Cubs, who earlier lost their Friday semifinal match to Tyee in a penalty-kick shootout.

Tyee (SeaTac) and Cheney will play for the state title at 4 p.m.

"I told them they need to be each other's biggest supporters," Ridgefield coach Jason Staley said about bouncing back for the consolation match. "The bright spot is … we can show better next time."

Ridgefield closed the regular season by scoring 14 goals over a three-game stretch, but has advanced through the state tournament with more modest offensive totals.

Then on Friday night, with a trip to the 2A title game on the line, the Spudders discovered just how difficult it could be to find the back of the net.

Through the first half, Ridgefield took four shots and two on goal. However, its biggest moment happened on the defensive end when the team caught a break in the 17th minute after senior goalkeeper Dalton Reis momentarily left the net unattended but Cheney could not punch the ball through.

However, the Spudders could not dodge another Cheney attack.

In the 30th minute, Cheney forward Ian Scimandle dribbled past defenders and made a move against Reis, who had to aggressively come out several yards to make a play. However, once Reis fell at the 3-yard line, nothing stood between Scimandle and an open net. Cheney took the 1-0 intermission lead.

The Blackhawks wasted little time after the break to add to its total.

Cheney midfielder Micah Weller, who had previously taken two shots, scored just 39 seconds into the second half for the 2-0 advantage. As Cheney began to assume more control of the match, Ridgefield unraveled.

Reis tried scooping up a shot on goal by Trevan Estrellado in the 55th minute, but the ball squirted past him and into the net. Reis remained on the turf for several moments until a teammate came and offered a hand.

Sophomore backup Justin Stay finished the match in goal but the anchor change did not prompt a late rally and Ridgefield lost its first game since April 18.