BOARDMAN — While six teams competed for the Eastern Oregon League boys soccer district title this year, only two dominated the all-conference selections.
The Riverside Pirates placed eight athletes on the season-ending EOL all-league honors, and the Umatilla Vikings six cap off their successful seasons out on the field.
Riverside senior Ulyses Lopez, a midfielder, junior forward Gerardo Lopez, senior defender Edwin Pacheco, and senior midfielder Cristian Rea made the first team, and were joined by Umatilla junior forward Jefri Coria, senior defender Cesar de la Cruz, and junior defender Cristian Alaniz.
Irrigon senior defender Marcos Rangel also earned a spot on the first team, as did Nyssa senior midfielder Javier Castro.
Senior midfielder Julian Jimenez, sophomore midfielder Jose Napoles, and junior defender Ricky Davila represent Riverside on the second team list, and Umatilla junior midfielder Carlos Mejia and sophomore midfielder Alexis Ruiz also made the second-team cut. The Irrigon Knights placed junior midfielder Abraham Espinosa on the second team. Espinoa’s teammate, sophomore midfielder Jacob Ayala, earned an honorable mention spot.
But the recognition didn’t stop there for the Pirates and the Vikings. Riverside senior goalkeeper Jose Torres and Umatilla senior keeper Roberto Lugo share this year’s EOL Goalkeeper of the Year distinction.
Riverside’s Jose Duenas and Umatilla’s Pedro Ortiz also shared the Coach of the Year honor.
The list of all-league awards capped off another big season for the Pirates, who went undefeated in league play at 10-0 to earn the 3A/2A/1A Special District 6 title for the fifth year in a row. They finished with a 12-4 overall record. They racked up 134 goals on the season, and allowed just 24.
Their season was cut short with a close 3-2 loss to Oregon Episcopal in a state quarterfinals contest on Nov. 9. The Aardvarks would go on to lose to Catlin Gabel in the state championship match.
The Vikings secured the No. 2 spot in the league standings with a 8-2 showing in conference action and 9-5-1 overall. This year marks the second in a row that Umatilla finished at second place in the league. They amassed a combined 101 goals by the year’s end, while allowing 32. They fell 6-0 to Catlin Gabel to end their season on Nov. 5.