Auburn Mountainview soccer denied chance at state, has one remaining

Lions fall 2-0 to Stadium and are forced to play Timberline in final game of districts.

Auburn Mountainview soccer is the last NPSL team left in the 3A West/Central District Tournament. The third place finishers in the NPSL are the only team to win at the district tournament level, and they found themselves in a win-and-in game against Stadium on May 9 at Federal Way Memorial Stadium.

The Lions fell 2-0 to the Tigers in what turned out to be an extremely frustrating game for manager Joey West and the Lions.

“We just didn’t finish our opportunities, that is ultimately it… I think we have a top-level team. It’s frustrating,” West said.

Auburn Mountainview was the better team in the first half, with shots doubled and possession heavy in their favor. Despite playing the better half, in the 25th minute, Stadium took advantage and control of the game.

A toss-up on whether a foul should be called started Emmet McDonough down the right side, and he crossed a ball into Juliano Araujo Carvalho De Costa’s path, who flicked it on goal for the 1-0 lead.

One of the bright spots for the Lions was senior midfielder Joshua Martinez. He was able to control the attack for the Lions and won nearly every challenge in that first half and the game in general.

Along with Martinez, the Lions were looking for should-be MVP Davyd Fedina at the top for that breakthrough goal, but just couldn’t find it.

“We have some college-level players that are completely overlooked. I don’t know if it is a post-Covid thing, but we have a lot of underrated players on our team,” West said.

In the 70th minute, the Lions found the net, but due to one questionable call, the goal was not allowed to count. The frustration from West was the inconsistency. In the first half, fouls were played as advantage nearly every time. Were they right to do so? It’s hard to say, advantage is such a difficult scale to balance.

But in this pivotal moment, where Fedina found the foot of Benji Toscano for the equalizing goal advantage was not played, and the foul was given just outside the 18-yard box. This was sort of the pinnacle of the Lions’ quarrels with the officiating. Taking off a potentially game-altering goal really set off the Lions and West.

“It’s hard not to bring up officiating because that whole game was dictated by officiating. Pulling that goal back,” West said.

Aside from a couple of Tiger corners and shots sprinkled throughout the second half, Auburn Mountainview played like their season depended on this game and threw the kitchen sink at the Stadium defense to no avail.

Countless corners, shots on and off target, and set pieces couldn’t crack the code of the Tiger vault of a goal.

Auburn Mountainview tried to get that equalizer in stoppage time, but a fast break goal put the nail in the Lions’ coffin. They now need to beat Timberline or their season is over. It’s a special group for West, and he doesn’t want to see their season end early.

“Everything that we have done up to this point, doesn’t matter… This is one of my most favorite groups of boys. I just don’t want the season to end. I’m just having fun coaching these guys,” he said.

Edgar Soltero, too stunned to move, as Stadium celebrates punching their ticket to state. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Edgar Soltero, too stunned to move, as Stadium celebrates punching their ticket to state. Ben Ray / The Reporter