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News / Sports / Prep Sports

Mountain View claims No. 1 seed to boys soccer playoff after 1-1 draw with Heritage

After a tough 90 minutes of soccer, and then some confusion, Thunder get to celebrate

By Tim Martinez, Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published: May 1, 2024, 11:11pm
4 Photos
Mountain View's Daniel Reyes sends a free kick into the net to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead over Heritage during a 3A GSHL boys soccer game on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at Mountain View High School. Graham was issued a red card on the play.
Mountain View's Daniel Reyes sends a free kick into the net to give the Thunder a 1-0 lead over Heritage during a 3A GSHL boys soccer game on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at Mountain View High School. Graham was issued a red card on the play. (Will Denner/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

One thing was clear after Mountain View and Heritage played to a 1-1 draw Wednesday night at Mountain View: The Thunder and Timberwolves were co-champions of the 3A Greater St. Helens League in boys soccer.

That’s what happens when two teams finish the season atop the league standings with the same record — in this case 5-1-2.

Then tiebreakers are used to determine seeding to the bi-district playoffs.

And that’s when things got confusing.

And after the match, Mountain View’s players celebrated thinking they had the tiebreaker edge by virtue of the Thunder’s 1-0 win over Heritage on April 9.

Then the Timberwolves started celebrating, thinking they had the nod based on goal differential.

After several minutes of confusion and a couple of phone calls were placed, the teams got the answer.

Mountain View grabbed the coveted No. 1 seed.

It was a surreal ending to a thrilling night of hard-fought soccer.

“It was such a big game,” junior Daniel Reyes said. “I like these games, like good games. …. It was an amazing game. Heritage is such a good team. It was an amazing battle.”

The drama started right away, when Mountain View’s senior goalkeeper Owen Purvis got a ceremonial start in goal.

Purvis was unable to play because of a back injury. Both teams agreed that Mountain View would start the match by playing the ball back to Purvis in goal before the ball was kicked out of bounds. Then Purvis was replaced in goal by fellow senior Christian Wilson.

Once the action started, Heritage brought heavy pressure on the goal in the first half, but the Timberwolves could not score as Wilson and the Thunder backline held firm.

“(It was) communication and purely just wanting to play for each other,” Wilson said of the Thunder’s defensive success. “We were so close to winning the league last year, and Heritage was the team that took it from us. We just had such a drive to get this year, and we wanted it more.”

After a scoreless first half, the Thunder struck quickly in the second half. Reyes pushed the ball on a breakaway, drawing out Heritage goalkeeper Jackson Graham. Graham was called for a foul on Reyes just outside the 18-yard box, drawing a red card.

Reyes took the ensuing free kick and scored a perfectly placed kick toward the far post.

“We got the ball there, I know I’ve got it, so I was like ‘just let me take it,’ ” the junior said. “I was confident, and I took it and scored for my team.”

From there, Wilson and the Thunder defense kept turning away Heritage as the Timberwolves kept bringing pressure in search of that tying goal.

That goal eventually came in stoppage time as senior Marcos Tobar Martinez broke free on the right side to shoot the ball past Wilson.

After 80 pressured-filled minutes, the two teams battled for another 10 minutes of overtime. Heritage got off a few quality shots on goal, including one in the closing seconds that required a diving one-handed save by Wilson.

“Coach said we had to keep our composure and keep our heads level,” Wilson said. “If we didn’t do that, we wouldn’t have stayed with Heritage.”

Mountain View gets another home match on Saturday against Gig Harbor with the winner clinching a berth to the state tournament.

Heritage also gets a home match Saturday against Peninsula in a loser-out match. The Timberwolves need to win two loser-out matches before they can get a chance to play for a state berth.

And that’s why the Thunder were celebrating after learning the tiebreaker broke their way.

“Probably only good things,” Wilson said about what the Thunder could take away from Wednesday match. “Heritage is a really good team. It was really good to play them on the last game of the season.”

11 Photos
Heritage's Hakim Keita attempts a bicycle kick as a host of Mountain View players look on during a 3A GSHL boys soccer game on Wednesday, May 1, 2024, at Mountain View High School.
Boys Soccer: Heritage at Mountain View Photo Gallery
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