By DEREK WILEY
Of the Keizertimes
McNary continues to live to fight another day.
Five days after defeating No. 13 South Salem 3-0 to earn a play-in game, the Celtics won 1-0 at Tualatin on Tuesday, Oct. 24 to punch their ticket into the 6A state tournament.
McNary went into halftime tied 0-0 but McNary junior Jovanie Bravo scored the game-winning goal in the 69th minute, capitalizing on a cross from junior Francisco Rios.
Tualatin put multiple shots on goal in the second half but Celtic goalkeeper Sebastian Lopez was able to keep the Timberwolves scoreless.
Rios scored all three goals in the first half against South Salem on Thursday, Oct. 19, the last on a header off a corner kick. Jose Zamudio, a junior who came up from the JV for the game, had an assist.
“It was the most important game of the season,” Rios said. “We had to score no matter what. We just played super good that game. We went all at it. We played the same way we did against McMinnville and just destroyed them.”
McNary head coach Miguel Camarena was thrilled to see the three goals after the Celtics has controlled possession throughout the season but failed to put the ball in the net. McNary had scored less than two goals in eight of its 13 matches.
“Throughout the season, our team has had more possession than the other teams,” Camarena said.
“We just couldn’t score. That’s the difference that you see today. Finally you crystallize what you’ve been practicing. The guys worked really hard and we put them in the net and hopefully we can keep going.”
The South Salem game was the final home match for seniors Anthony Chavez, Michael Reyes, Bhavdeep Bains, Luis Martinez and Emil Salmhofer.
“Michael and Luis, I saw them grow since they were 9-year-olds,” Camarena said. “For me to see them play the last high school game, the leadership they gave all these years, it means everything to me.”
Going into the game at 38th in the power rankings, Bains wasn’t ready for his high school soccer career to end. With the win, the Celtics climbed to 35th to earn a play-in game.
“We just gave it all,” Bains said. “We knew this was a win or go home game and we weren’t going to go home today. We knew that we needed this and our season wasn’t over. We just played all out.
“Last regular season game of high school, I’m just proud of everyone, proud of the team. It went by fast, four years. I thought I was a freshman the other day but it goes by fast. It was just great to get a win and I’m proud of everyone.”
McNary (6-6-3 plays at No. 1 Jesuit (91-4) on Saturday, Oct. 28 at 2:30 p.m. in the first round of the state playoffs.
The Celtics lost at Jesuit 2-1 in the first round of the state tournament last season.
The Crusaders went on to the semifinals.
McNary and Jesuit share two common opponents, Sunset and Aloha.
While Jesuit defeated both 2-0 and 2-1, the Celtics shuout Aloha 3-0 to open the season but lost to Sunset 3-0 in its second game.