RICHLAND, Wash. — The Hermiston boys’ soccer program took another step forward over the weekend with its appearance in the title game of the Bomber Summer Classic in Richland.

Hermiston placed second to Richland after a 58th-minute goal gave the host team a 1-0 win in the final. It was the same score from when the teams met in the group stage of the tourney.

The Bulldogs didn’t even make it out of the group stage at the tournament last summer and coach Rich Harshberger was excited what the second-place finish could mean for the team.

“We barely made it out of the group stage, but I had tons of confidence in our guys,” he said. “We were kind of the dark horse through the whole tournament. I am definitely happy with the result.”

In the group stage, Hermiston finished second with four points — a win, loss and a draw. The Dawgs tied Spokane’s West Valley 1-1, then lost to Richland, 1-0. A?4-0 win over Liberty Bell High out of Winthrop, Wash., then gave Hermiston the second seed by virtue of a goal differential tiebreaker with West Valley.

In the semifinals, Hermiston met East Valley. After the teams battled to a 1-1 draw in regulation and extra time, the Dawgs won in a penalty kick shootout, 4-3, behind two huge saves by goalkeeper Lalo Mejia.

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