TONASKET – If the season had to end without a trip to the playoffs, this was the way to do it.
Tonasket’s soccer team was already looking to next year after surprising Okanogan on Thursday, May 3, 2-1. The Bullodgs went on to win their district playoff opener on Saturday and now play two seeding games on the way to playing in the state tournament.
“This was a great way to finish,” said Tonasket coach Jack Goyette. “We’ve been working hard all season, but we were a little down after a tough week. We’d taken some beatings, so it was nice to end this way.
Okanogan scored first, midway through the first half, but the Tigers got the equalizer just before half on a Matilde Pacheca shot from outside the box.
Michael Orozco picked up the game-winner in the second minute of the second half. His corner kick to the far post deflected off the Bulldog keeper’s hands as Jesus Alvarez and an Okanogan defender collided with him in front of the goal mouth.
“Dean’s team played hard,” Goyette said. “He’s a quality dude, and we had fantastic officiating today. They really kept total control of the game.”
Goyette said he had to make some adjustments this year, since he’d been out of coaching for awhile, but that it had been a rewarding season.
“The guys’ game is a lot faster than the girls (which he coached before); it’s changed a lot since I last coached,” he said. “It’s been fun, but sometimes I’ve been a little frustrated with myself.
“Our passing improved a lot during the year, and the guys’ attitudes have been great. But one of the most significant things is that we have 31 kids, and for the last month all 31 have been academically eligible.”
The Tigers finished at 6-9-1 overall (2-8 Caribou Trail League). Overall it was a four game improvement over last year. Significantly, the last win and the season-opening draw against Manson were against teams headed to the state tournament.
“All season we’ve gotten better and better but haven’t been able to sustain it for a whole game,” Goyette said. “But we finally did that today.”
Cashmere 6, Tonasket 4
CASHMERE – The Bulldogs avenged an earlier defeat to the Tigers on May 1, picking up their first CTL victory of the season with a wild 6-4 triumph over the Tigers.
“That was just a crazy game,” Goyette said.
Orozco continued his late-season tear, scoring all four Tonasket goals.