Bay off to fast start to boys soccer season

Eagles already have nearly matched last year’s goal total

By Meg Wochnick, Columbian staff writer

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It’s only the season-opening week for the Hudson’s Bay boys soccer team, but already, second-year coach Zach Contreras sees a major difference with this year’s Eagles compared to last-year’s team: finishing.

Most notably, having what Contreras describes as “natural finishers” on a roster that’s gelling quickly.

“They know what to look for, they know what to do, and they know how to play with each other,” Contreras said. “It’s a lot of fun to watch them and it’s a lot of fun to coach them.”

A year after scoring 15 goals in a 3-13 season, the Eagles now have 12 in their first two after Wednesday’s 6-0 shutout of Washougal at Kiggins Bowl.

Bay (2-0) opened its season Monday with a 6-3 win at R.A. Long.

With the addition of new arrivals Nicholas Campbell and Ivan Villalobo, and welcoming Julio Vara back to Bay, it might be a sign of things to come for the Eagles as they return to the 3A Greater St. Helens League.

Five players scored for the Eagles, who built a 3-0 halftime lead on goals from Jair Nunez and Campbell.

The cohesiveness and teamwork is what stands out for Vara, who began the second-half scoring with a bicycle-kick shot off a corner kick in the 52nd minute that made it a 4-0 lead. He’s back at Bay after spending part of his sophomore year at Skyview.

“We’re not just a one-man team,” Vara said. “We’re all working together.”

The Panthers, who dropped to 0-2, lost starting goalkeeper JJ Dobles in the closing minutes with a leg injury. He replaced by defender Griffin Heredia.