Pasco boys soccer team beats Bothell, advances to state 4A quarterfinals


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Matt Potter couldn’t think of a better place to be inducted into the Pasco High School Hall of Fame Tuesday night than on the floor of Edgar Brown Stadium.

While the rest of that year’s induction class was being honored at Pasco High Auditorium, Potter was busy coaching his No. 1 boys soccer team to a 1-0 win over Bothell in the first round of the WIAA Class 4A state tournament.

After the competition, Pasco High’s athletic director Gregg Huisingh grabbed a microphone and introduced Potter – a Bulldogs grad who was a standout football player for Pasco and then for Seattle University before returning to the Bulldogs boys’ football program to lead – directly on site.

“That was nice,” Potter said after the game. “We have to do it out here with (his players). That’s better than in an auditorium.”

The only goal of Tuesday’s game came in the 23rd minute of the first half when senior midfielder Hector Rodriguez found a pass from midfield newcomer Jayden Barajas to the right of the net, where he put it into the net.

Barajas came from the left and drove the ball through several players gathered in front of the net.

It bounced off at least one player and came out on the right where Rodriguez was ready and waiting. “I expected the ball to go through,” Rodriguez said. “I think this team has been very professional this year. We know we have to work hard to get the job done. But we also know how to have fun.”

It turns out that Rodriguez goal was all Pasco needed.

The much larger Cougars tried desperately to score the rest of the game – and they had their chances – but it was in vain.

There was just too much of a teeming purple wall to get through.

That wall — the Pasco defense — has been this team’s greatest strength this season. Of the 19 games the 18-1 Bulldogs have played, 16 of them have been defensive shutouts.

With great defensive work from senior midfielder Jonas Olvera, senior defender Julian Ramirez and second midfielder Julio Andrade, Pasco consistently thwarted every shot on target from Bothell on Tuesday.

When asked if this might be his best team at Pasco to date, Potter said it ranks up there with the best of them.

“It’s pretty high,” said Potter, who has a record of 201-58 at Pasco. “This whole team is disciplined and deep. (These many shutouts) wouldn’t be possible without everyone’s hard work. We’ve never had so many shutouts in one season.”

Now the Bulldogs have to wait for their quarter-final opponent. Camas takes on Lewis & Clark on Wednesday night. Then the date (either Friday or Saturday) and the time are set.

And it will be back at Edgar Brown Stadium.

GIG HARBOR 3, KENNEWICK 0: The visiting Kennewick Lions witnessed the end of their boys’ football season in a Class 3A play-in game.

OTHELLO 2, CLOVER PARK 0: Jose Cabrera and Juan Lauriano each scored as 8th-seeded Othello won his first-round Class 2A state game on the road. With the win, the Huskies take on top-seed Columbia River, with a time and date yet to be determined.

Prepare baseball

Eastside Catholic, a 14-seed, defeated No. 19 Silas 6-3 on Tuesday in a Class 3A play-in game. That means EC will be up in a state tournament game at Parker Field in Yakima on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Yakima first round match against No. 3 Kennewick.

5-seeded Liberty Christian of Richland defeated 12-seeded Sunnyside Christian 5-3 in Tuesday’s 1B state tournament. Liberty Christian is now advancing to the quarterfinals, scoring Saturday at 1 p.m. at Borleske Stadium in Walla Walla on No. 4 cross point.

In another 1B game, No. 8 Odessa beat No. 9 Riverside Christian 9-4. Odessa will now face top seeds DeSales in a state quarterfinal game on Saturday at 10am at Borleske Stadium.

NWAC softball

The Columbia Basin College softball team finished the regular season with a 21-11 record in the East Region, good enough to finish third in the division and was 30-17 overall.

The Hawks are 11th in the NWAC softball championship tournament, which begins Thursday and runs through Sunday in Spokane.

The tournament, made up of 16 teams, is a true double elimination format. CBC opens tournament play Thursday at 10:00 a.m. against 6th-seeded Lower Columbia.

Meanwhile, No. 2 Walla Walla will open against No. 15 Centralia on Thursday at 10am.

The Hawks are led by Ashlynn Nixon, who led the team in the three major offensive categories: a .529 batting average, 23 homers and 69 RBIs.

Against Lower Columbia, the Hawks face first baseman Angela Sullivan, a Chiawana graduate. Walla Walla Community College’s Cristina McHie (Walla Walla High School) and Bailee Noland (Hermiston) will lead the Warriors — ranked No. 1 in the latest NWAC Coaches Poll — into the fray.

The WWCC enters the tournament with a 42-2 record, with a 32-game winning streak and the team hitting 119 home runs. Noland had the most homers with 26 and 98 RBIs.

Other players in the tournament with local connections include Bellevue College outfielder Isabella Qunell (Kamiakin); Big Bend has infielder Jocelyn Chagoya (Warden); Edmonds has outfielder Raylie Wardenaar (Royal) on his list; while Mt. Hood boasts utility player Janelle Almaguer (Hermiston).

Here are the NWAC East Region final standings: 1. WWCC 32-0 East Region, 42-2 overall; 2. North Idaho 24-8, 29-15; 3. CBC 21-11, 30-17; 4. Great Bend 18-14, 19-21; 5. Treasure Valley 16-16, 19-27; 6 (tie). Spokane 11-21, 12-23; 6 (tie). Yakima Valley 11-21, 14-31; 8. Wenatchee Valley 6-26, 8-31; 9. Blue Mountain 5-27, 5-33.

NAIA baseball

Lewis-Clark State College is 2-0 in its regional tournament, and the Warriors are one win away from qualifying for another NAIA World Series – which is good since the team is hosting this event again on the campus of Lewiston aligns.

In the regional opener on Monday night, LCSC defeated the University of British Columbia 9-7, raising its season record to 52-4.

In that game, Kennewick High grad Trent Sellers pitched 6 innings and knocked out 6 batters. He also won the game, raising his season record to 12-0. Sellers was named Cascade Collegiate Conference Pitcher of the Week four times this season.

Jeff Morrow is a former sports editor for the Tri-City Herald.

This story was originally published May 18, 2022 12:59 p.m.

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