Sunday, July 3, 2022
July 3, 2022

Linkedin Pinterest

Woodland opens 2A district soccer tournament with 1-0 victory

Beavers advance to semifinal on Tuesday

By , Columbian staff writer

WOODLAND — The Woodland boys soccer team made history Saturday afternoon winning its first-ever home playoff game.

The Beavers feel they’re just getting started after their 1-0 win over Tumwater at Beaver Stadium to open the Southwest 2A District tournament in what’s already been a magical season that includes a school-record 13 wins and now one win away from earning a Class 2A state berth.

“This is great,” senior midfielder Brennan Lamoreaux said. “Seeing the growth of the team, my freshman year we won one league game (and went 3-13 overall) to second in league only losing,

“And keep it going in the future.”

Lamoreaux is Woodland’s career assists leader, and the midfielder’s goal in the 36th minute against the Thunderbirds (8-5-3) proved to be the difference to send the Beavers the district semifinal. He nearly added a second goal three minutes later when his shot from 10 yards out hit the top of the crossbar.

Woodland faces Black Hills (15-2), champion of the 2A Evergreen Conference, on Tuesday at Tumwater District Stadium in the winner-to-state match. The Wolves beat R.A. Long 4-3 (4-2 penalty kicks). Woodland’s last state appearance came in 2002.

Not only is Woodland full of accomplishments, such as a runner-up 2A Greater St. Helens League finish and hosting its first-ever playoff game, but the program’s been on a steady upward climb in recent years.

And it wasn’t long ago when Woodland boys soccer had dark times.

In 2009, Woodland didn’t have enough players to field a roster, so school administrators canceled the boys soccer season. The following year, athletic director Paul Huddleston’s first year at the school, soccer returned with a varsity-only team that went 0-16.

Sophomore Aidan Thrall remembers some of those dark times as a middle school student watching the program he’d later help spearhead into a playoff winner.

“It was painful to watch,” Thrall said, later adding “They’re just going to grow this team.”

Thrall is one of three ex-Timbers Academy players on Woodland’s roster and is more than half of the starting lineup that currently plays club soccer.

Players with a higher level of competition outside of the high school season has only boosted the program as a whole, said head coach Bryan Vogel. Its junior varsity team even fields a number of club players, something Vogel’s never had previously.

“When you’re bottom ends comes up,” Vogel said, “your top ends goes even higher.”

Support local journalism

Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

Community Funded Journalism logo