Extra notes: Union soccer

Note: Paul Danzer, The Columbian’s soccer expert, had some issues with his computer last night and could not blog. So he sent me, Paul Valencia, The Columbian’s expert in every other sport, these notes from Union’s 2-1 win in the semifinals. Enjoy.

Officially speaking, the Roughriders are not happy: While Tyler Shadix celebrated with his teammates after scoring the first goal of Union’s win over Roosevelt, the Roughriders were pleading for relief from the officials.

The play started with Union’s Mitch Wheelon lofting a free kick from the Titans side of midfield. Roosevelt goalkeeper Julien Leveque went up with both hands. He got both hands on the ball, but Shadix’s head was there to knock it loose, and after it bounced again, Shadix headed the ball into the goal.

It was a kind of play where keepers often are protected by referees. But this time the ruling was that Shadix made a clean play of the ball — he said he did.

After the game, Roosevelt coach Val Seid told the Seattle Times the goal should not have counted.

“That first goal should’ve never happened. Our keeper had the ball. Guys went in and took the ball out of his hands and the ball bounced. The ref said the ball bounced again, so he had no possession of the ball.

“The ref’s part of the game. I’m just disappointed we get a ref that does that, especially in a game like that. Union played a great game. It was a great game and it should not have come to the referee making a bad decision.”

TNT! Maybe it was a good omen for the Titans when the Portland Winterhawks beat the London Knights — 2-1, no less — in Friday’s Memorial Cup semifinal. The charter bus the Titans are using this weekend is one that shuttled the Winterhawks to and from PDX during the WHL Finals. The Winterhawks and WHL playoffs logos on the bus were the giveaway.

See a pattern here? Union is attempting to become the second consecutive Vancouver team to win a 4A boys soccer state title. Like Skyview last spring, Union didn’t win the Greater St. Helens League championship this season (Camas did). Like Skyview last season, Union won a state tournament boys soccer game for the first time in school history.

Perhaps more notable, for the better part of the previous decade, Class 4A Greater St. Helens League teams couldn’t get past the bi-district round and into the state tournament. Times have changed.

“We’re fortunate that in the GSHL, top to bottom, our league is very good,” Union coach Kelcey Burris said. “It shows the class of our league that we are in the finals.”

— Paul Danzer

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