Auburn Mountainview soccer takes down top seed

Davyd Fedina’s hat trick boosts 17th-seeded Lions into quarterfinals.

Everyone likes an underdog story, and there was none bigger than the Auburn Mountainview Lions boys soccer team as they entered their state tournament match against the top-seeded Shorewood Stormrays.

“After getting third in our league, our boys took it personal. They knew they were better than that,” manager Joey West said.

The Lions were the 17th seed, the second lowest remaining in the tournament (Arlington, 19). They took on a Shorewood team on May 16 who had only lost one game all season — and the Lions punched them in the face and sent them home in their own backyard.

“I have no words,” senior Davyd Fedina said.

Manager West went to Auburn Riverside and fell to Decatur in the semifinals back in 2002. This group that he has now is rivaling that team 22 years ago: “This is probably the most fun I have had coaching or playing. My junior year we made it to the semis, I want to get back there. I want these boys to experience that,” West said.

It took a monumental effort on all sides for the Lions. Goal-scoring expert Davyd Fedina recorded his second straight hat-trick, Jonathan Ochoa-Felix made some amazing saves, and a handful of players came off the bench and made an impact in the 3-2 victory.

“I think he was the man of the match (Ochoa-Felix), not me,” said Fedina.

Because the Lions got into the state tournament in the last possible game, a 4-1 win against Timberline, they had to play a play-in game against Spanaway Lake. Fedina recorded a hat-trick and Mountainview cruised to a 5-2 before their game against Shorewood.

But it was a game against Kentlake back on April 26 that changed the course of the Lions’ season.

“The game against Kentlake that cost us the league, woke us up … They have really come together since that game … It has taken them a while to get bought in and now they are completely bought in,” West said.

Since that loss, the Lions have gone 6-1 and have beaten the number one team in the state.

Shorewood tried their best to put Auburn Mountainview on their heels early. If it wasn’t for Ochoa-Felix between the posts, this game could have had a much different result. He made three saves in the first eight minutes of the game on some quality looks from the Stormrays.

“I don’t understand it. He is a freak of nature. He gets on the end of stuff when I don’t think he’d be able to… He’s bailed us out a lot of times. He kept us in it tonight,” West said.

Once the Lions slowed the game down and survived the initial rush, the thought of an upset started to creep in. Then, in the 23rd minute, out of nothing, Davyd Fedina happened. Benji Toscano went streaking down the right side and found Fedina in the 18-yard box, and he slotted it right past the keeper.

“He’s a man amongst boys. I don’t know how else to describe it…. He’s a great all-around dude,” West said.

At halftime, the Lions were leading 1-0 and knew that Shorewood was not going to go quietly.

“I knew they were a good team and going to come out with everything they had,” West said.

The Stormrays equalized in the 51st minute and seemingly shocked the Lions as they continued to pepper and make Ochoa-Felix work in goal.

Sophomore Benjamin Yitbarek came off the bench and made his presence felt on the pitch. He played with a ton of energy and passion, fueling the Lions back into confidence. He pressed a Stormray defender and won the ball and created a two-on-one problem for Shorewood. He found Fedina and the end result was a 2-1 Mountainview advantage in the 62nd minute.

“He gave us a little bit of a spark, that’s what he does. He is a playoff player… When we need him, he steps up,” West said.

The dagger came 11 minutes later, from another linkup with Toscano and Fedina. This time Fedina used some misdirection and shot across his body and beat the keeper for his third goal in the 77th minute.

A late goal in added time from Shorewood’s Jackson Smith was just a footnote in an incredible game from the Lions. When that final whistle blew, spectators could tell how close the Lions were.

“I don’t want to leave this team. I can’t explain what, but there is just something about this group,” Fedina said.

Auburn Mountainview hasn’t made it past the quarterfinals in school history. This is just the second opening round win for the Lions since the school was built back in 2005.

Nate Esayase gives some love to Davyd Fedina after the Lions took a 1-0 lead. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Nate Esayase gives some love to Davyd Fedina after the Lions took a 1-0 lead. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Manager Joey West and Davyd Fedina celebrate the 3-2 win over Shorewood. Ben Ray / The Reporter

Manager Joey West and Davyd Fedina celebrate the 3-2 win over Shorewood. Ben Ray / The Reporter