PORTLAND? A?senior-heavy Cleveland boys soccer team beat Pendleton at its own game Friday to eliminate the Bucks from the postseason.
The Warriors gave the Bucks their most physical match of the season and dominated possession on their way to a 7-0 win in the Class 5A?play-in second round.
The Bucks (1-13-1)?pride themselves on being able to play as physical as the referees will allow but the Warriors (7-4-4)?were the ones pushing the limits Friday.
Pendletons Hayden Whitbread found himself on the business end of a head-butt and Peter Enache took a late hit that knocked him all the way to the track surrounding the field. But the biggest hit that went uncalled was in the 78th minute when a Cleveland player took out Pendleton goal keeper Jordan Hillmick inside the penalty box with the ball in his hands.
By rule that play should have yielded a red card, and Cleveland already led 7-0.
Hillmick, who just recently returned from injury, had to leave the game when his previous knee cap injury flared up after the hit.
But with the game out of reach, Hillmick wasnt content to ride it out on the bench and returned after three minutes.
I didnt want to let my team down,?said Hillmick, who had 10 saves. I?knew I?had to be out there. I?also knew if (Cleveland) took me out any more it could be the last game of my career and I?didnt want that.
Clevelands Zach Striar put the Warriors on the board within 10 minutes of the start of the game and Cleveland led 4-0 at halftime. Striar had two goals and an assist. Lucas Biespiel also scored twice for Cleveland.
The Warriors PIL championship roster boasts 13 seniors and Pendleton coach Rob Hillmick said it may have been a little much for his young team, which starts just three seniors.
I think they were a little intimidated maybe, he said.
The Bucks may have won just a single game in Hillmicks first season as head coach but hes already thinking about the future.
Its not a bad season even though we only had one win,?he said. Were going to build from here with a summer club team. Were a little behind the times in Pendleton but were going to turn that around.