Juan Navarrete put his goalie gloves in his bag and turned and looked at Kennison Field.
Hermiston’s senior goalie had six saves on May 14, but the one ball he couldn’t stop in the shootout gave Mountain View a 2-1 victory in the first round of the 3A state playoffs.
“This is my last game here,” Navarrete said. “It’s heartbreaking. We gave it our all. It was a good game. We made history in Washington. No one believed in us, and we proved them wrong.”
The Bulldogs finish their season 8-8 and earned the top 3A seed from the Mid-Columbia Conference to the playoffs.
Hermiston coach Rich Harshberger said he knew the game would be a battle.
“We knew they were going to be good,” he said of the Thunder. “Things went as planned, for the most part. Essentially, it took us a little longer to get established in the game. We didn’t have as much movement as I would have liked.”
After a scoreless first half, the Thunder came out after the half and scored 8 minutes into the action, getting a goal by Christopher Grozav.
The Bulldogs looked to tie things up a minute later, but Hermiston’s Emilio Leal was stopped on the doorstep.
That would not happen again.
Leal beat a defender and put the ball over the goalie Cole Taylor’s hands to knot the score in the 66th minute.
Neither team would score again, forcing a shootout.
Hermiston’s Alexis Leal scored the first goal of the shootout, but Justin Lufkin-Quant came right back with one of his own on the next attempt.
Grozav gave the Thunder a 2-1 advantage, only to see Matt Mendez put one in the net to make it 2-2.
Elijah Thompson gave the Thunder a 3-2 lead, leaving the outcome of the game to junior Coleman Solano.
Solano blasted the ball toward the net. It went off the cross bar and dropped down, but just in front of the goal line, sending Mountain View into the quarterfinals for the first time since 2012.
“In the PK, you have to have a little luck,” Navarrete said.
Harshberger said the loss hurts, but not as much as saying goodbye to his seniors.
“You are with these kids three to four years,” he said. “Now I think about how I don’t get to coach them anymore. They don’t get to come to practice tomorrow.”
Scoring opportunities were limited in the first half for both teams.
Hermiston had two shots on goal — one by Moises Lopez in the 24th minute, and another by Emilio Leal in the 30th minute.
Leal shot from the right side of the net, only to have Carlos Cruz step in front for the stop.
In the 20th minute, Oliver Parades sent the ball toward to the Mountain View net, only to loft it too high and put it on top of the goal.
Nathan Purvis had the Thunder’s lone scoring chance in the 38th minute.