The Brookings-Harbor High School varsity boys soccer team fell shy of reaching the state finals—losing 3-2 in overtime to Dayton in the semifinals Wednesday night.
After finishing the shortened regular season with a record of 9-0-1, the Bruins continued to succeed in the early stages of the playoffs, first beating South Umpqua 5-0 and then Central Linn 8-0.
However, a first half score by Dayton handed the Bruins their first deficit of the playoffs. In the second half, the Bruins rallied with an equalizing goal from a volley by Bryan Valdovinos, which was answered by another Dayton goal, putting the Pirates in the lead again. In dramatic fashion, Fabian Villa for the Bruins put a shot past the goalie late in the second half, tying the game and forcing overtime.
Still, Dayton proved to be too tough. An overtime score gave the Pirates the win, putting them through to the finals.
Head coach Jess Beaman said the match was hard fought, and despite the loss, he is proud of his team’s performance.
“It was a really competitive, physical game...we’ve never been down, so it was good to see them get down a goal and come back and get it, get down and come back,” said Beaman.
This was one of many near misses at the state final game in recent years for the Bruins, in what is becoming a frustrating trend for Beaman.
“I think since I started coaching here that would be my third or fourth semi-final. I just can’t seem to break the curse of winning that last game,” said Beaman.
Beaman said the team will miss their three graduating seniors next year: forward Rylan Bruce, goalkeeper Juan Hernandez and defenseman Aden Carpenter.
The Bruins will begin to prepare for the regularly scheduled fall season next year with tournaments this summer, determined to break the ‘semifinal curse.’