ONTARIO – The contingent of fans and parents wearing Gladstone soccer apparel attending the first round of the state 4A soccer playoffs had little to cheer about until late in the game.
The hometown Ontario fans and parents, including the bus driving by Alameda field with a giant yell of support, had the opportunity to cheer early and mob the field at the conclusion of the game as Ontario downed Gladstone, 3-1 on Wednesday, November 6.
The win by the Tigers advances Ontario to quarterfinal play on Saturday.
The victory by the Tigers continues a season without a loss. In addition to nine wins, the Ontario team has played to four ties, but has yet to see a loss.
Gladstone fell behind early as Greg Rodriguez scored twice in the first half. Gladstone pulled the game to within a goal late in the second half, putting the score at 2-1. Just two minutes later, Ontario again put the game out of reach off a goal by Jaime Gonzalez Jr., scoring off a tipped shot by Adrian Nunez.
The win is a vast difference from last year’s playoffs. Ontario, heavily favored, was bounced out in an upset loss to Newport/Toledo.
The Tigers now host the Woodburn Bulldogs on Saturday, November 9 starting at noon at the Alameda soccer field.
In first round play, sixth ranked Woodburn got by North Valley, 2-1. Woodburn finished second in the Oregon West Conference with a 12-2-1 overall record. The two losses came at the hand of Stayton, the conference champions.