Archbishop Murphy’s state title reign come to an end | Boys soccer

By David Pan | Jun 01, 2018

Archbishop Murphy’s reign atop the 2A boys soccer tournament came to an end.

Columbia River knocked off the Wildcats 3-1 in a quarterfinal contest Saturday, May 19, at the Kiggins Bowl in Vancouver.

The Wildcats were seeking their fourth straight title with a younger team that returned only a handful of starters.

“I was very proud of how they handled all the pressure the team was under trying to go for a fourth one,” Archbishop Murphy coach Mike Bartley said.

Columbia River (23-0) went on to defeat Burlington-Edison 2-0 to capture the state championship.

The final score didn’t reflect how close the Wildcats came to moving on to the semifinals. Columbia River took a 1-0 in the 25th minute. Archbishop Murphy tied the score eight minutes in the second half.

The Wildcats (13-5-2) continued to push forward.

“We had really good opportunities,” Bartley said. “We just didn’t convert them.”

The Chieftains eventually took a 2-1 lead with 19 minutes left and then scored another goal with about two minutes remaining.

Because the team was seeded lower than in the past, Archbishop Murphy had to play on the road.

“Home field is a huge advantage,” Bartley said, “That’s how we came up a little bit short.”

The Wildcats will lose most of their offensive firepower with the graduation of seniors Sam Johnson, Isaac Feeney and Tyler Winsor. But the defense should be strong with returning junior goalkeeper Daniel Mycroft, Max Henderson and Cole Lovell.

Bartley is excited about the emergence of junior forward Buba Manneh, who ended up second on the team in goals and assists.

Archbishop Murphy will face a tougher schedule during the regular season as the Wildcats will be going up against Wesco 3A competition. Archbishop Murphy and Cedarcrest then will separate and compete in the 2A playoffs, though their seeding will be determined by their regular season record.

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